Blogging A – Z Challenge
G is for Git grit for your characters
No, my dear readers from the Southland, not grits, grit. Grit, as in “Indomitable spirit, firmness of character, or (my personal favorite) pluck.” Courage in the face of adversity. Resolution.
Of course many think of the word grit as associated with John Wayne is the movie True Grit, but (especially if you read the book which differs from the movie at several points [notice I don’t even mention the remake from 2010. There will never be another Rooster Cogburn besides John Wayne.].) the character who really defines true grit is 14 year old Mattie Ross. She is a true heroine along with being a real person. She is set to find her father’s killer, Tom Chaney, with or without help and using the occasional threat of Lawyer J. Noble Daggett.
So, I liked Mattie. I like that kind of character, I guess, and until I was trying to think of something to go with the letter G it never occurred to me to think about the women characters I have both known and created. Most of them have also faced some pretty tough adversity and come through things that may leave them scarred or marred or flawed, but strong, independent-thinking, gritty individuals. As with Mattie, you don’t always see the gritty side, but it’s there, just the same. Your character s don’t have to show it until they are faced with a problem where they need it.
Of course Mattie was not the only one with grit. I think the few, rare moments when we see something tender and human in Rooster Cogburn set into relief his grit, but that Texan, (played by Glen Campell in the movie) had some grit in him, too. I think we admire these characters and people like them because they are real. We see people who are not perfect, not beautiful (Well, my mom thought Glen Campbell was handsome, of course) but people who have a mission, something to get done, some goal, some prize to attain.
I think the key to characters that touch people’s hearts (John Wayne won an Academy Award) is that they are pretty much normal, everyday people, stuck in situations that are anything but. You can sum it all up like Rooster did, watching Mattie ford the river after him and LaBoeuf tricked her, “By God. She reminds me of me.”