The first manuscript I ever critiqued was for my good friend and amazing writer, Theresa. It still sticks with me, which is a testament to a well written story.
Without giving too much away, one of the MCs volunteers at a soup kitchen.
One of the stories I've written revolves around a teenage girl who gives her time to be a role model for an eight-year-old girl.
Often times we put our characters through the ringer. We force them to deal with death, love lost, the end of the world. It is how our characters react to these issues that shows us who they are.
Sometimes we write characters who, without being forced into a life or death situation, feel driven to help others, feel the need to give back.
I'm curious. Have you read or written a character who feels compelled to give back, volunteer? Why do they do it? What do they do? What does this tell you about them?
I'll go first. :) In the case of Emma, the girl who becomes a role model for eight-year-old Gigi in one of my stories, her motives are selfish, at first. She wants to get into a good college and needs volunteer hours. Gigi is her perfect charity case. But then she realizes all she has in common with the little girl and what a good influence she can have on her life. In the end, when she has to make an incredibly difficult choice, she ultimately chooses the unselfish option, promising to always be there for Gigi.
One in eight people in Louisiana are hungry. It felt good to get my hands dirty with complete strangers to do our own little part to help feed the community.
One of the coolest part about the experience were the others who volunteered with me. Out of the forty of us we had some from Germany, Italy, Brazil, Mexico and a number from the US. As we all packed boxes of donated food, sang to music and tried not to get run over my forklifts, it was totally awesome to think that many of the people helping weren't from the United States.
Have you done any volunteering lately? Tell us so we can all say THANK YOU!