When a famous man died this month, the media referred to his “mixed legacy.”
Got me thinking. Which one of us, when truth is told, will not have a mixed legacy? Except for saints, who among us is all-virtuous? Or all-villainous?
Characters in fiction of yesteryear may carry these distinctions. I couldn’t write or even conjure such characters. I just never met one personally, and I need this personal connection as a hook to hang my characters’ jackets on.
Literary clichés aside, I’m already on record for abhorring black and white stances. It is challenging and frustrating at times, with advice to “up the stakes” and make one’s writing less aware of the gray tones mixture that is us.
My challenge, as I revise and work my way to the best stories I can, is to keep them interesting, illuminating, and allow all my characters their right to a mixed legacy.