January 7, 2010

Can She Be like a Tree?

I have a great view outside my workroom. A giant oak dominates the scene, along with several other trees up and down the street. Right now, they're all unadorned. No leaves. No blossoms. Seemingly not bothered by winter's cold and wind. It's occurred to me that, whatever their outward appearance, they remain true trees. They retain their inner "tree-ness" in all kinds of weather, in every season.

Which makes me wonder about a character I'm developing for a middle grade novel. She sometimes reacts to situations in ways quite inconsistent with her inner self. Is it realistic for her to maintain her internal "me-ness" while acting in opposition to what she believes is right or proper? If so, does this create a tension between her interior character and her outer behavior? Should she be aware of it? Try to change it? And is this enough to involve a middle grade reader's interest?

So many questions. So few answers.

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