Featuring mysteries and genres born out of the classic pulp era – interviews and more on mystery/suspense/romantic suspense/thriller/crime on Mon-Thurs and SF & Fantasy Fridays with author and Sisters in Crime member Shannon Muir, whose personal columns appear on weekends.
Every Sunday, the feature SHANNON MUIR’S MYSTERY OF CHARACTER on SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF focuses on the art and craft of writing from Shannon’s perspective, or gives you insight on her process as an author.This week’s topic focuses on what makes characters endure.
Some characters and stories fall into obscurity, while others remain memorable for generations. What’s the magic formula?
Is it good marketing? It can be. But many classic characters came about before the marketing drives that exist in today’s marketplace. So that’s not always true.
Is it because they are able to be related to? Perhaps. However, some very enduring characters are the kinds of people that (hopefully) many of us are not like, such as serial killers like Jack the Ripper or even more modern ones.
It seems like there’s no easy answer to this question. It does seem, though, that the characters that endure have qualities about them that rise above the time and setting in which their stories take place and are elements that could occur in any time or place, but that just happen to occur when they do.
Until next time.