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, the column takes inspiration from the start of a new year as it looks at characters who “turn over a new leaf” and reform.

The start of a new year also brings up conversations about resolutions or the desire to make changes in life. This thought then brought to mind the concept of characters who “turn over a new leaf” as the saying goes and reform – or claim to. There seems to be a strong appeal for the idea of redemption and change of a situation for the better, which can include people as much as situations.

Yet, there are other saying about “a tiger cannot change his stripes” that imply that such change is impossible. This focuses on the idea that there can’t be change for things to ever be different than they begin. Yet, hope continues to persist.

See you next week!