By Cait Collins
I have a favorite Christmas story… How The Grinch Stole Christmas. You see, I have my Grinch moments. There are days when I want it all to go away. I don’t want to shop at the local stores, nor do I plan to spend hours on-line trying to find gifts for my nieces and nephews, especially now that most of them are teens and pre-teens. That’s why I go to the bank and get cash to give to the kids. At least I know money fits and it’s the right color.
Then there are the days when I get lucky and hit the mall and find everything I need. On those days I’m Cindy Lou Who. The characters in the Grinch’s story are so memorable. I can easily picture the Grinch, his dog, and Cindy Lou. I especially like the Grinch in his Santa suit. If I had to use one word to describe each one it would go something like this. Max-faithful. Cindy Lou Who-trusting. The Grinch-lost.
The Grinch may be lost and a little bitter at the beginning of the story, but he learns something about the season. Christmas is about hearts, and when he begins to understand that the season is about love, his own heart grows.
All the characters in our stories have the potential for growth and change. As the story develops, the reader should see the characters grow. The playboy becomes a faithful husband and father. A thief restores his ill-gotten gains to his victims. The ugly duckling becomes a swan. And the woman who has been physically and emotionally battered learns to love and be loved. It is the writer’s job to craft his characters so that their transformations are real and not shallow and cookie-cutter. After all, who would have thought the Grinch would go from zero to hero?