'Coming of Age' Characters

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Cirias, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Cirias

    Cirias Wirt's Fourth Leg

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    I don't know about everyone here, but I have recently started to find writing this sort of character quite dull and uninspiring. My very early stories and fantasy worlds always included a young, unlikely hero as the central character, but I have begun to steer away from these nowadays, preferring to have my characters already established in the world they inhabit and giving them a bit of roughness around the edges. I don't know... I just find writing a coming of age character a bit unrewarding. The most fun I ever have is when I write someone with problems, history and knowledge without having to rely on others to 'train' them first.

    What do you guys think? Do you feel the same or completely disagree?
     
  2. JimF

    JimF Registered User

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    I've never found "coming of age" particularly interesting, either to read or write about, but that is me. If you don't feel the muse when writing a CoA story, then write what does get the creative juices flowing. Maybe after a couple of grizzeled veteran stories you'll wantt to go back to CoA.

    R
     
  3. kmtolan

    kmtolan KMTolan

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    It's not about the theme, it's about the characters. You write a great character up and it won't matter if they are coming of age or simply aged (grin). It's getting the reader fused with the character and living through them that does the trick.

    It's always a bit risky painting with such a broad brush, me-thinks. I did great with a series that started out with "coming of age" and ended with "coming to grips". If the character is dull or uninspiring, then the author failed to breathe enough life into them, me-thinks (personal reader tastes aside).

    Kerry
     
  4. Window Bar

    Window Bar We Read for Light

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    Coming of Age stories, though they speak to people of all ages, speak most clearly to the young. So if you're writing for adolescents, it certainly doesn't hurt to have a young protagonist. The guts of the story, usually, is when they solve a major problem without leaning too much on their trainers.

    Anyway, Cirias, I neither agree nor disagree. I'm game for a good story focusing on characters of any age group.

    -- WB
     
  5. choppy

    choppy The Great Flying Bear

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    I can't help but wonder if the lack of inspiration with characters coming of age is really just a reflection of where you are in your own life.

    Once you've gone from the "student" stage of life (defined rather liberally), the world tends to be a little different to all of us. It's not about making your way through a sea of possibility. Rather, it tends to be more of doing what you can to survive and thrive while given the sum total consequnces of earlier choice and happenstance.

    To quote The Pursuit of Happiness
    "No more Boy meets Girl, Boy loses Girl...
    More like Man tries to understand what the he** went wrong."
     
  6. secluded

    secluded Breaker of Walls

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    I am currently writing a story that begins with a boy of five. Four chapters later he is 18. He will get older as the book (series?) progresses. I think the early years in some stories adds depth and enhances later scenes.

    I would use Peter Brett's Warded Man as an example.