March: In Like a Lion; Out Like a Lamb
A Month of Transformations
By Marcia Thornton Jones
In like a lion; out like a lamb. The very phrase suggests a month of transformation—so what better time to think about how story characters evole? Does my story character enter the story like an angry lion and exit as a peaceful lamb? Or might she shed her lamb’s wool and unsheathe claws in order to strike down every single obstacle thrown at her?
Considering how my character evolves will help round out a potentially flat character by giving her emotional depth. If her transformation embodies a theme, it will also make my story more compelling because universal truths tend to resonate with readers. That’s why, this month, I plan to borrow March’s phrase to think about my story character’s transformation by using the following prompts.
In like a ...
- What animal would my story character identify with at the beginning of the story? In what ways?
- What animal might someone use to describe her at the midpoint? Why? What attributes is she exhibiting?
- What animal would best describe her at the end of the story? Why?
- How might I weave in attributes/behaviors from the above animals to metaphorically show my character’s behavior, insights, and state of mind at beginning, middle, and ending stages of transformation?