Steadfast Characters

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This is our final post related to Cassie Beasley’s Circus Mirandus, and it gives me an opportunity to discuss something I’ve always liked but struggled with. I like characters that don’t change! There I said it. In so many pieces of advice written about character development, it’s espoused that a character must undergo a significant change. Now, I guess there could be some argument over what defines “change.” Is it an overall philosophy? Is it an attitude toward another character? Is it a point of view or even a simple single trait? All qualify as changes, but I find myself rooting for those characters who aren’t bad apples and must fight like mad to keep the batch from spoiling them.


In Circus Mirandus, Micah loves his grandfather, a gracious and good man. Ultimately, he wants his grandfather to be healed by the Lightbender, but his immediate desire is to be with his grandfather and to share the magic in his stories and experience it for himself. He detests his aunt who does not believe her brothers stories and thinks both of them are foolish (we later come to know why she feels this way), but the point is Micah is fighting a force that wants to change him and change his goals. He is steadfast when his new friend Jenny tries to convince him that magic isn’t real. He constantly wars against his great aunt and her attempts to keep Micah away from his grandfather, and he refuses to accept the fact that his wish does not come as he wanted it to. Now, I suppose one could argue that change does occur. Jenny changes. The Lightbender changes. Some of the other characters change, and even Micah accepts a different outcome than the one he longed for, but fundamentally, he as a character does not change.

I feel as both a writer and reader there is a place for stories like this. Sometimes the world around us changes–sometimes in a way that is not right or good or for the better. We need to see characters that refuse to give in no matter how difficult the surrounding circumstances.

I have a vast of books I love with steadfast characters but what are some of yours. Love to hear about them!

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