Today I'm posting about Nature or Nuture? and whether or not the age old question affects the characters in your stories. We all know the difference between the two, but for the sake of clarity, I will define each one.
Nature: The inherent quality or basic constitution of a person or ones natural instincts or way of life.
Nuture: The influences of education and training that modify the expression of an individuals heredity.
Picture By Loretta Stephenson - Art By Retta
This picture represents the layering of nature and nuture on this cat. It has it's own natural coat of fur, and then it has an added beautiful coat wrapped around the fur. (At least that's how I perceive this picture). When we look at our characters, are we seeing a layer over the natural person? Is it something that was an influence from childhood or part of their education that creates a belief? Or do we see the natural person, if it is possible, stripped from it's layers of beliefs and protection?
Many of the layers that cover our characters are from the character's attempt to preserve their self from ruin if exposed to another individual. How do we, as writiers, find the right depth in our characters? It is by peeling off the layers of the indiviual and finding the natural self.
What do our characters hide behind? Where do those layers come from? I have a character that is an agent for the Agency of Acquisitions and Restorations who dresses in all black. Why? That is a layer that has to fall of before my character can reveal his true natural self to his love interest. But she has her own layers of nuturing that holds her back. She was raised to not trust men - especially those wearing black. But our characters all have layers. It's finding what's down in the natural person that will reveal what our character is really like, but also remembering that the layers are a part of him.
Do you have an unusual character? Are they Nature or Nuture?