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What is Your Character’s Happy Spot?

By DiAnn Mills

Characters, like people, need a place to escape tension, stress, and conflict when life’s challenges threaten to steal their optimism. A writer uses a character’s happy spot to add a slice of real life to a three-dimensional character. The character knows where this place is and returning physically, mentally, or spiritually instills peace, happiness, and a sense of safety. This is where headaches fade and muscles soften, allowing the character to be renewed so he/she can continue pursuing a goal.

When a character isn’t able to relax, he/she is headed for exhaustion and unable to work to full potential. (Like us) While denying a character a happy spot could be a part of a plot, establishing what that special place is reveals more about the character.

Take a look at the following 11 ideas to help find the happy spot for your hero, heroine, or even antagonist.

  1. A creative person longs for means of artful expression. When something of beauty is attained, imagination swirls and emotions are gratified. A variety of art forms can fill the need: a walk through a museum; adding color to a blank canvas; playing a musical instrument; listening to a concert; cooking a five-course dinner, and the list goes on.
  2. Connecting with nature and experiencing the quiet world often clears the mind.
  3. The company of other people can eliminate stress, especially family and friends who love unconditionally no matter what the character has or hasn’t done.
  4. Simple blessings of life often provide sweet moments of joy—the first cup of coffee of the morning, watching the sunrise or a fiery sunset, volunteer work, or relishing in a child’s smile.
  5. A character may find his/her happy spot by completing a personal goal. Satisfaction of a job well done may be what your character needs.
  6. Curling up with a good book or enjoying a movie could be a character’s form of relaxation.
  7. Happiness can mean a beautiful location as in a favorite vacation spot. Your character may crave the rhythmic sound of waves crashing against the shore or the sight of an eagle flying over a mountain peak.
  8. Exercise stimulates the brain and allows clarity. Some personalities look forward to daily exercise as a highlight of their day.
  9. Hobbies are a great way to tune out the world and relax.
  10. Pets are soothing for many people. Your character may bask in the devotion of his/her pet and the time spent with this special animal or bird.
  11. Worship has the ability to draw people away from themselves and into pure adoration and spiritual happiness.

Whatever a character’s personality, establishing a happy spot allows the reader to see a well-rounded personality. Use this technique to deepen characterization and add twists and turns to an exciting plot.

How do you establish a character’s happy spot?

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DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; the Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. DiAnn speaks to groups and teaches writing all over the country. Connect with DiAnn here: www.diannmills.com.

 

 

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One Response to What is Your Character’s Happy Spot?

  1. My characters are just like me,
    addicted to both speed and danger,
    with common sense a casualty,
    and law enforcement not a stranger.
    There’s frisson in cheating death,
    in mortal fear the heart doth thrive,
    giving meaning to each breath;
    “Cracking show, mate, I’m alive!”
    If I tried to write of quiet folk
    who took a pastoral inspiration,
    my oeuvre would become a joke,
    for all would be imagination.
    We’re doomed to write that which we are,
    mad motorhead in jacked-up car.

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