Who is the Bigger-Than-Life Character in Your Bestseller-Kind-Of-Novel?
The main characters in the bestseller-kind-of novel are bigger-than-life. No wimps here. You can’t just tell us what they do; you have to show us what they do. Prove that they’ve bigger-than-life. These are people who find ways to solve the problems around them. They outsmart the bad guys. The bigger-than-life character overwhelms the enemy, somehow. They blow up blockade, so to speak – literally or emotionally.
Here are your examples: In the Godfather, everyone knows that he can fix any man’s problems. His people already know that; we’re just being introduced to him, though. The undertaker comes to him seeking revenge on the well-to-do white boys that tried to rape and beat his only daughter. If the undertaker takes revenge, he knows the police will find out and jail him. So he comes to godfather and asks the request. Godfather has his foot soldiers to take care of it. The pizza baker wants his daughter to be married to the baker boy who is about to be deported to Italy by immigration. Godfather has his concierge to talk to his politicians and stop the deportation. His godson comes in crying about a movie that the big time Hollywood producer won’t give to him. Godfather assures him he will fix it. The producer says he’ll never get that part. Godfather makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Through his unlimited connections, the producer finds his prized and protected horse’s head in his bed. Producer’s scream can be heard a mile away.
Even in death, he has outwitted the bad guys. He grooms the son Michael to carry on, and drummed into his head the plot the enemy will use to kill him. He accurately predicts who would be the traitor after his death. Godfather was larger than life and he has out lasted the author, Mario Puzo.
Godfather executed the death of the Italian Don, who had killed his father. As his mother begged for his life, the mob boss shot her. The boy escaped and came to America. He did crime to keep his people from suffering injustice. That was larger-than-himself, larger than life.
GONE WITH THE WIND – Near the end of the war, Scarlett comes home to Tara and finds it in disarray. Her mother is dead, the cotton fields are waiting to be tended, her father is losing his memory and two lazy sisters are complaining. Scarlett put on her bonnet and worked the field and whipped the sisters in line to do the same. When a Yankee soldier comes into her house, she shoots and kills him, then drags him out and buries him. Scarlett was a bestseller-kind of character – larger than life.
The Mayor’s Wife Wore Sapphires – Indigo Tate is wired to make things happen. The story opens with her scheming to get her husband into congress. She was ladylike and all cosmopolitan in the right circles. When she’s trying to get her “Camelot” status for Compton. But near the climax, when she is locked in a safe house, under the guardianship of a six-foot-nine giant and pressured, she tamed her guardian to have pity on her. She had the cool presence of mind, like Michael, to push the right buttons. The head enemy approaches, and when he is caught off guard, she battles him down with a broken chair leg – like Scarlett when the Yankee tries to invade her home. She runs and jumps off a high porch with two pit bulls baring teeth and chasing in close pursuit. She sprang on top of a six-foot fence, dislocating her arm and leg, but she keeps running to the highway, to freedom. No one can say anything but that Indigo Tate is a larger-than-life-character. She is the African American heroine who’s name will be just as well known as Scarlett’s.
Write 20 characteristics of your bigger-than-life character. If you notice, there are no wimps in even a love story.