BUT DID YOU DIE? - On Character Development

So this week on Totally Booksessed, we're talking about things we like/dislike in a heroine. And I wanted to think of extend it onto here to share some more thoughts I had. 

I love strong heroines. I think everyone can agree that strong heroines are basically the best kinds. People like Tris, Katsa, and Elisa who kick ass and take names and aren't afraid to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. 


There's a huge but in this because one of the most important things in novels to be is something so simply, yet sometimes lacking: character development. I don't want characters that start out with NO flaws and NO weaknesses because what kind of person is that? Who wants to read about someone who can do no wrong and can resolve any conflict with no sort of inner turmoil? To me, a good heroine is someone who grows. Someone who starts off in the novel as alone or scared or self-conscious and grows into this confident and strong person not only because of the things they've been through and the experiences they've had, but because they realize that the person they were before wouldn't have been able to survive. 

I'll take the three heroines I used: Tris, Katsa, and Elisa

Tris starts out the novel as someone who wants to be something but has no idea if she can even achieve it in the first place. She's smaller and quieter than everyone else and no one thinks she wants a chance but she's got the guts to make things happen. And over the course of the novel, she learns. She learns how to be selfish (and that's a big thing for me: I like characters that sometimes choose themselves, because sometimes you don't want to sacrifices you things you want or need; and that's alright) and make her own decisions and fight and by the end of the novel, she comes out ten thousand times stronger than she ever would've thought to be in the beginning. 

Then you have Katsa! Which people probably thought: "Katsa was a kick-ass all throughout the book; so what?". But in her case, we're talking about something much more emotional and mental. Katsa has always been able to kick some major ass but she learns not to think herself as monster and open herself up to people throughout the novel, and that makes her a stronger person in the end. 

And then you have Elisa; who is my favorite example of OUTSTANDING character development i've ever seen. Elisa starts out the novel self-conscious, scared, alone, quiet, and completely not in control of herself and her situations. The journey she has to go through in the book changed her into a strong, confident, mature person but didn't change her. She was still the sweet girl from the beginning, but she got a backbone and learned how to fight for herself and for her people! 

So next time you're going (and I know I do this A LOT) :

Remember, they're growing. Sometimes it's alright to complain and feel weak and like you can't do it; but a REAL heroine can pick themselves up from the ground, dust themselves off, and never give up. Unless of course this is them throughout the entire novel in which case: EH.

Happy Reading!
And DEFINITELY tell me your thoughts below!


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