Community as Character
One of the dilemmas I have faced with my current book is character. How do I tell the story of one boy on his journey to becoming a man while simultaneously telling the story of a community in turmoil. This is one of the reason I have fought so hard against cutting Daniel and his family. His family tells the story of the community.
My MC has a intense and intriguing journey. He is a powerful warrior who lives like legend in the minds of his troops. But he isn’t the only one affected by this war. He isn’t the only one fighting. The community from which he hails grows and changes, just like he does.
The idea of community as character has intrigued me since I read The Firelings by Carol Kendall. In that book, it seemed to me that the main character was not so much Tacky-oby or Life but the community as a whole. The community had a motivation (to appease Belcher and avoid his spewing). They grew from a frightened band of simple villagers into a group of friends who clung together, found a new purpose, and rose through adversity.
I’m not sure my current book is the place to explore community as character, but I would definitely like to delve into that subject someday.