don’t write shallow characters

Really???

Who said that?

Um, well, most playwrighting pundits.

And I must beg to differ.

Some of the most affecting and interesting characters in literature are shallow: Daisy Buchanan, Vicomte de Valvert, Torvald Helmer, any character in The Importance of Being Earnest* (and by extension Algy in my Being Earnest).

Write shallow characters the same way you write deep characters, fully embracing their foibles and strengths – and make no mistake, shallow characters (and people) have strengths, the greatest of which are knowing how much they can take and when to say no.

Perhaps the paradigm ought to be, write no character shallowly.

*Don’t get me started on men playing women’s roles in this day and age.  Especially women-of-a-certain-age’s roles.  There are PLENTY of roles for older men and remarkably few for women, and then men want to play us?  Criminy and a half.

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