November #InkRipples: Shaped but not Defined by our Heritage

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on November 7, 2016 in Family, Ink Ripples, Nature, Writing |

testament-1183175_1280Our heritage is where we come from, what we’ve inherited from our ancestors and family. It can come in the form of physical traits, property or monetary assets, titles, traditions, and many other forms. Heritage often has a big role in determining who we are when we are born and how we grow up.

A person is born a prince, another in poverty. A person is born to be classically beautiful, another with an inherited physical deformity. A person inherits a great wealth, another a debt left behind by a loved one who passes away. These are the hands we are dealt, but they don’t have to be the sole thing that defines us.

One of the most interesting things about human nature is that there is no one things that makes us who we are (kind of like those masks we talked about in last month’s #InkRipples). Sure, there are some things about our selves that we can’t change, but we don’t have to let that one thing be the only thing about us. I’m short…I’ve inherited that trait, but that never kept me from playing basketball, and I ended up being quite good at it.

To put my writer mask on for a moment, that’s one of the most fun things about writing characters. No character is one thing. “Good” characters have faults and “bad” characters have redeeming qualities…at least they should in order to be well-rounded. I love a hero who has deep-seeded flaws, and an antihero can be so interesting to read. And villains who have nice sides to them or who have somewhat justifiable reasons for their actions are so much better than purely evil characters.

How has your heritage shaped who you are and what aspects of yourself have nothing to do with your heritage?


#InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Katie L. Carroll, Mary Waibel, and Kai Strand. We pick a topic (November is all about heritage), drop a ripple in the inkwell (i.e. write about it on our blogs), and see where the conversation goes. We’d love to have you join in the conversation on your own blogs or on your social media page. Full details and each month’s topic can be found on my #InkRipples page.

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