The Over-used Trope for Character Development

Over the weekend, I watched Good Will Hunting. No, I’ve never seen the movie before even though it was released in 1997. That was the year I was working 40 hours a week at a garden centre, giving birth to my first child and settling into a new house, so I didn’t watch much of anything.

Throughout the movie, I was waiting for the inevitable. I say inevitable because many of the books I’ve read and the movies I’ve watched the past 20 years have used death to jolt the main character out of their ‘destructive’ daze and into change for the better. I’ve seen it so many times, I can often pick which character will be sacrificed for the good of character development. If it’s a character I’ve invested emotion in, I pull back before the death, knowing it’s coming. If I’m unaware, it feels like a betrayal by the writer.

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Sticks and stones may break my bones, but . . . names can kill.

I’m a straddler.

The kids and I first used this term to describe people who drove on the highway with half their vehicle in one lane and the other half in another lane.

Lately, I find myself being a straddler when it comes to social networks created by technology (not social networks where people meet face to face: writing groups, community groups, Girls & Boys Clubs, etc.). When used for good, technology-created social networks rate somewhere between mediocre and great.

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