Today I want to focus on kindness. What is kindness to me? It's tenderhearted concern, to be sympathetic and understanding. I've been thinking about a Philo of Alexandria quote again: Be kind, for most everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. I think about this almost daily. It's important terms of story telling. I've learned to see that all my characters, the good (of course) and the bad (not as intuitive), are fighting great battles. As I turn my mind's eye toward concern and sympathy, my characters grow and expand. The cardboard cutouts disappear and multi-faceted jewels replace them.
This isn't the hero talk. Generally heroes are likable. Bad guys, not so much. I do think that the bad guys need the most kindness. If you don't try to understand what is motivating them, if you don't try to see the mosaic of good within their evil-slanted psyche, then they end up seeming fake, one note. It will weaken your story. So today, think about an antagonist in your story, what mercy could come his or her way? Why is the character bent on harm? What thorn is in his or her side to cause such pain? What good things do he or she want? Yes, the darker the character, the more difficult it is for the audience to understand. Cut in strands of light to make your darkest characters more human.
Hope this thought helps you as you move forward with creative works. Seize the day, folks.
I call this doodle, "Fire".
A quote for the week:
The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding. Albert Camus