Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is for Hope

Dear Hope,

You are what often comes after—and sometimes before or during—the grief and pain I put my characters through.

I can't say that every character has hope. I can't say that each of them believes that hoping for something is worthwhile. Some characters are so jaded by what they've experienced that when they put one foot in front of the other, it has much more to do with habit than with hope. Sometimes they are scared to believe or expect that life could really get better.

They still have to reach for something, though, that will keep them going. Maybe some of them will stumble on something that sparks that light again.

In the books I write, there is at least one character who has hope for better things to come, or a determination to conquer what needs to be conquered in hopes that they will succeed. And maybe these characters can have an influence on the ones who believe that it's better not to hope for anything so they won't be disappointed. Likewise, it's possible that the ones who believe that hope is a giant letdown could have a negative impact on those who already hope. It depends a lot on the characters, personalities, and situation. And it can be easy to lose sight of hope—even temporarily—when dropped into a situation that looks hopeless.

Because I am a "happy endings" sort of gal, and because of many reasons why I write, I like my books to point toward hope and peace and life. It doesn't mean everything is candy drops and cotton candy. Life is hard, and my characters come to know this very, very well. There are physical, psychological, and emotional upheavals. Without despair, no one would know what hope feels like.  But there's also that light at the end of the tunnel.

Thankful to have hope even when life is hard,

*What is your perspective on characters who have/don't have hope?


  1. Good topic. It doesn't bother me at the beginning if a character has no hope as long as it's believable and it's the start of her/his character arc. I don't care of ending that leave the character with no hope. Like with Hunger Games. I won't read the books again b/c it ended on such a hopeless note. and that didn't well with me.

  2. One of the other bloggers wrote on hope also and I love the topic. There has to be hope for the character in order for us to care about his/her journey. Great post.

  3. Hope is so vital not only in books but for life in general...without hope where are we and what do we have?

    I like your post today; thanks for sharing!

  4. Beautifully said. Hope is light and no one wants to be in the dark.

  5. Hope is essential for a great character. Without it there would be no point continuing the fight.

  6. Laura-I prefer a hopeful ending, too. I liked the HG series for the realism of war and how there's a struggle even years later when things are looking better, but there were so many parts that were hard to read.

    Jeanne-I think so, too. Thank you!

    Tracy-Exactly! And thanks!

    Ruth-I agree. Thank you. :)

    Shelley-It can also lead to some intense character journeys. Thanks for the reply!

  7. I need there to be hope at the end, even if the ending isn't a tied up with a neat and tidy bow. I need to be able to see the hope of what could be, otherwise I'm just depressed.

  8. Yes, I like a character to have hope. It also makes for a powerful movement when they lose it--and then regain it, of course.

    Nice post.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!