Static vs Stagnant

Serialized fiction, the stuff that you figure is going to run for years, maybe even decades, is full of perils. As the years go on there are some key questions that have to be answered. Are these going to tie together into a single complete story? Are they simply episodes in these characters’ lives? Do I want to keep my cast safe with the infamous hero bubble or do I slaughter everyone like George RR Martin after a bad day? These are all major decisions and everyone approaches them differently.

But one of the most complicated questions is how far does your protagonist move from one entry to the next. There are four general directions you can go and they require you to answer all those previous questions in the process. You could have a character stay on the straight and narrow path, progressing but not necessarily “changing”. You could have them veer wildly off course, being sent down darker roads or into morally ambiguous situations. And, finally, you could have them not really move at all. You could have them remain static or let them stagnate so that each story features the same immobile person. Those last two, static or stagnant, may sound a lot alike but there is a very key difference between them:

Is the audience going to stay with them? Continue reading Static vs Stagnant