Following up on greatness

After my last post, I started thinking about how I’d apply the born/achieved/thrust standard to my own characters. If you’re curious to actually look at the stories, links to anything published are on the What I’ve Written page.
Sword of Darcy. Barbarian protagonist Robert Ervin Howard Darcy is definitely one who’s achieved greatness, killing the high priest of Set and taking Pemberly for his own estate. And now hoping to land Elizabeth Bennett as well.
One Hand Washes the Other. Another achiever, a guy who’s following through on his fast-track life plan … but after losing the perfect woman, finds his achievement suddenly unsatisfying. Can he get himself back on track?
Signs and Hortense. Born to greatness, or rather to misery, as Hortense carries the burden of her evangelical Lovecraftian father’s religious beliefs with her.
Everybody’s Doing It. The protagonist wakes up one morning and discovers that whatever he does——sleep with a friend’s fiancee, blow the whistle on corruption——everyone agrees it’s perfectly acceptable. Very much a Thrust Upon Him story.
Uneasy Lies the Head That Wears the Crown. Another achiever, the protagonist loves the power and influence he wields even more than his money. Unfortunately, everything falls apart when he’s thrust into greatness——or more accurately, wakes up to discover he knows has a clown face he can’t remove.
•My Applied Science series. A real mix here. Steve I don’t think fits any of the categories: He’s much more of an everyman than his partner Gwen, who’s definitely an achiever (former OSS agent applying her skills as a science investigator). Dani, definitely another achiever. Claire, the resident genius, was born great (no disrespect to her accomplishments intended). Elegy Walker in the most recent story is an achiever, but one more concerned with outward show than doing anything of substance.
The Impossible Takes a Little Longer. KC is a Thrust Upon Her, endowed with super-powers by her murdered mother’s spirit, which she then uses for the greater good.
I’m not sure this tells me anything, other than that my Thrust Upons and Borns are more likely to be cursed than blessed. Still, I may try using this approach on some of my struggling stories and see if it gives me any insight.

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Filed under Brain From Outer Space, Impossible Takes a Little Longer, Short Stories, Writing

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