Trauma is such a delicious thing in writing- it gives characters their backstories, their motivation, their special slant in a narrative wrok, from novels to webcomics.
However, it's usually considered in the context of how it has made a character ‘damaged goods’. Why they are grim, why they're the antihero or why they are dangerous even though we feel sympathetic towards them.
Rarely does the focus shift on how trauma makes a character powerful.
Usually, the characters starts off damaged, the trauma the hurdle they have to overcome, and the entire arc revolves around that, with the story ending upon the character's success.
As if how the character is with the trauma overcome, conquered, owned is somehow boring.
But it isn't! It's fascinating. Trauma is what makes a character stronger once they have managed to overcome it. It has benefits that are priceless:
Trauma that a character survives makes them have experience they can apply to new situations and challenges that previously would have been insurmountable, emotionally or cognitively, for that person. They might become more patient, or able to discern a ruse, or judge other peoples' characters accurately when they hadn't been able to before the trauma took place.
Trauma makes people have more compassion, and a higher capacity to evaluate situations with the measure that is proper- some situations require lenience and compassion, others strictness without yielding. Trauma can make a character know where to apply what, and why.
Trauma can bring out a person's strength when, in order to overcome it, they push their limits and are forced to evolve. It isn't chance that we say ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger'. Trauma that is overcome an dconquered makes a character tough and self assured- and that yields strength. Both in personality and in output.
What other benefits can you think of that trauma can bequeath to a character? Have you ever used it in this manner?
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Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Sept. 22, 2018
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