Question: I'm a high school student who's interested in creative writing and have been trying to write a short story for practice. I have a trio of characters who'll be the main focus of the story. One of the characters is a spirit who has stolen the appearance of a recently deceased boy. He absorbs all the bias, information and personality of any text he touches. This is meant to build up over time with varying degrees of impact depending on how much of themselves the author put into the text.
Although I want the story to be about him, I want it to be told for the perspective of another character. The problem I'm running into is how to handle his character development.
Should I split it in two, one side where he's influenced by the texts he touches and another based on how he genuinely feels?
Also, I've run into a wall when I try to figure out how the other two characters react to some of his more drastic sudden changes.Answer:
I think you're right to make someone else the main character and this spirit into the impact character, so that the story becomes someone's experience in meeting this unusual being and how it influences or affects their life. It's like one of those "The Strange Case of ..." stories.
If the spirit is the impact character, then the reader may not be privy to his inner thoughts and feelings. He is the character the reader looks at through the eyes of the main character. The reader does not look through the spirit's eyes. The spirit's arc would then be the series of events in which he does things that influence/affect the main character. The main character's decision at the climax would be whether to change as a result of his experience with this spirit.
In other words, the storyline wouldn't be about the spirit but the other people whose lives are influenced by him.
To make the spirit the main character and let the reader see through his eyes, you would have to create some kind of desire in him - a problem that he is wrestling with or a goal to be achieved - which would be a very different story.
P.S. This is just a suggestion. I'm not trying to tell you how to write your story. I'm just proposing an approach you might take.