UNexpected, UNwanted change – is a universal cause for upset.
I think it goes without being said, that creating relatable, full-fledged fictional characters comes from an understanding of real life humans. However, with story writing, all the mundane parts must be stripped to maintain focus. Thus, we want to see what they struggle against, and how they overcome, over and over and over until we reach the ultimate resolution with them at the end of the novel.
In every good novel, there is some forward momentum, some type of dilemma, or tension, when well-written, that keeps you from closing the book. But I think what keeps us coming back for more is the well-developed characters we sympathize with, whether we truly LIKE them or not, that keeps us wondering how their journeys end.
And we can relate to struggle. To trauma, no matter how big or small.
The brain deems unwanted changes as unacceptable. We forget we have many traits to survive the shift. And when we forget we can survive, that is when the brain goes haywire, freezes up. Rejectsrejectsrejects. It despises any threat to survival–anything that causes painful suffering, whether physical or emotional, a block of some sort, a stumble, an obstacle, requiring effort to adjust.
Our characters crack because they are afraid. Disappointed. Frustrated. Inconvenienced. Ashamed. Hurt, hurt badly.
And we take the journey with them, rooting for them to overcome, excited when they do, bummed when another one comes along, because we can RELATE, we know the feeling, even if we don’t know the situation.
They crack because we make them human. But because they are human, they are resilient, ideally collecting wisdom along the way, overcoming, celebrating, growing, growing, growing.