The recent Dr Who episode dealt with the life of Vincent Van Gogh. One of the characters highlighted that Vincent’s main contribution to art is in seeing the beauty in the world even when surrounded by pain. Putting some sort of beauty into your writing can really help uplift the reader. It doesn’t have to be cutesy. One of my favourite writers, Erma Bombeck (greatly missed) used to really brighten my day by finding the humour in the everyday. She laughed at herself and the world and made me feel a lot better about the dusting I hadn’t done. You know, apparently, once it gets a certain depth, it can’t get any deeper? Good to know.
Readers often respond to characters that look for the silver lining. One of the most common pieces of feedback that I receive is that people really love the character Molly from the first book of the Shaytonian Chronicles, Destiny Sets. It was strange, I almost didn’t put her in. I felt I needed someone “normal” to show how alien the others were at times. So she had a job, a family and a wheelchair. Meeting the others allowed her to redefine herself. The chair became an asset as it had given her strength and perspective. And she always had a place to sit.
Portraying those different to ourselves with that positive view can really help open our eyes to what is important in the real world and how lucky we are.