Here's a quick post for those of you with a fondness for cool words. It's sort of relevant to writing. I mean, if you want to avoid one-dimensional, predictable characters, this could be one way to think about their development.
OK, honestly, this post comes from the realm of DUH, but I hope the concepts are still fun to think about. They were fun to draw pictures of. #nerd
Equifinality: the same outcome can result from multiple predictors, stressors, pathogens, or developmental paths.
In other words, there's not one obvious path or set of experiences that will lead to whoever your character is. In fact, for characters, usually the twisty, less-traveled roads are more interesting to readers.
Multifinality: One factor can lead to any of several outcomes, depending on the person and the context.
And ... all my energy has been spent writing psych evals this week, so this is all I've got for you today. Can you apply these concepts to your characters? If you have characters from similar backgrounds, how do you craft their development along different paths? What kinds of things do you consider? And if you have characters who arrive at the same place in life, how do you vary the paths they took to get there?
Or, if you don't want to think about that, can you at least agree with me that the words are delightful?
Today is Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog day! Please go visit Lydia, who is posting on the question: How would you personify your muse? Here's the link to Laura's answer from last week.