A couple of posts ago I was thinking about narrative tension, and how as a reader we want the conflict/problem to be resolved, when actually it’s the fact that it’s not solved yet that keeps us reading.
Well I just read this article by Doris Egan, one of the writers on House, that takes that idea further – to an interesting, complex place.
She suggests that the interest isn’t so much in the hero solving the problem, as in how the hero adapts to the problem.
I won’t paraphrase the whole article, because I couldn’t do it nearly so well as she does, but it’s definitely worth a read. One of the best frameworks for building believable characters that I’ve seen for a while.