THE BOOK OF 25 – CHAPTER 21
I am Flat
The (1) Cult of Celebrity and a Kardashian free world
- kardashian-( kar -dash- ian) adj/noun. A moving train wreck of a family- consisting of dysfunction attached to a continuously circulating network tv. A mockumentary of a horror tv show(s) with a DD rating
Now for the non-fiction writing tips on building interesting fiction characters.
There are three basic characters in fiction, whether you are working in flash fiction, short stories or novels. There are Flat characters, Round characters and round Dynamic characters
A Flat character has no internal conflict or doubt. A round character has internal conflict or doubt. A dynamic character not only has internal conflict or doubt but also has the ability to change. Flat characters are very useful but usually are not very interesting. Round characters can be very interesting and I try to have at least one round character in every piece of fiction. A dynamic character is the most interesting character of all for obvious reasons. Protagonists are almost always round or dynamic.
Though we don’t generally strive to write flat characters, they are often necessary in a story, along with round characters. Take, for example, Mr. Collins in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. A flat character, he serves a vital role in the story of how Elizabeth and Darcy get together, and he provides comedy, but his character stays essentially unchanged. In fact, that’s part of what makes him funny.
Classic examples of flat characters can be found in any of Charles Dickens’s novels, with characters many times identifiable by their own personal “catch phrase.” Examples include Great Expectations with Mrs. Joe’s frequent comment to Pip, “who brought you up by hand” and Our Mutual Friend whose Rogue Riderhood makes his living “by the sweat of his brow.”
These characters are what Forster would term as “flat” because of their lack of psychological development throughout a story arc and their one-dimensional, almost predictable natures. This is a natural segue into a modern tale of fictionalised reality and it’s so called Flat Star, Kim Kardsahian. Kim Kardashian portrays an incredibly ironic, real flat character. Her family’s sit-com has created a true renaissance into the classic development of pointless Flat characters with catch phrases, which are media sound bites. Where inane remarks, are used through inflection, to indicate reason or intellect. Fatuous remarks that are interpreted as media savvy, inflicts and supports Kim’s Flat Characters development. “I did not want to disappoint anyone or I follow my heart.” These remarks, ironically punctuate, her flat characters, raison d’etre, and allow us to discuss this as Flat character development. E.M. Forster indicates, a flat character is a term referring to a character who boasts no mental or emotional development. Much like a stock character, a flat character exhibits strong defining characteristics, speech habits, and the like, but still falls short of the complexity of a round character. In fact Ms..Kardashian, went on to star in Drop Dead Diva, playing herself. A Flat Character.
As such, we have seen this fact. If your protagonist is flat, your story is usually in trouble. And that reality has certainly inflicted the fates to bestow on Kim Kardsahian, trouble in ways that though reserved to fictionalized characters is now visited on to the real life of a person who molded her existence as a Flat Character.