Magical Words – Age Perspectives

Photo by Giacomo Lucarini on Unsplash

I’m going to address just one aspect of Tamsin Silver‘s amazing Magical Words (5/11/2016) post: Hump Day Help: 3 Things We Can Learn From Marvel’s Civil War:

The post itself covers three things: 1) working with a large cast; 2) The Purpose of an Added Character; 3) crafting a new breakout character.

Part of number two hit me hard, which is the different perspective age brings to the table. Introducing Spiderman to the greater Marvel Universe didn’t just introduce a new character to give us a fresh set of eyes, it introduced a YOUNG character. Tony Stark – while an immature narcissist who acts like a kid with the biggest toys available – is a full grown man, a business owner, and been a world figure for decades. Steve Rogers is even older.

Peter Parker, he is a teenager. The world-spanning questions of responsibilities and duties required by citizenship within humanity haven’t become hardened in him. Yet, at the same time, it is one of the most central questions of Spiderman’s origin. Civil War was the perfect time to introduce the character.

For writing, expanding the universe beyond a single age group provides different eyes to view the world. Young Adult (YA) gets wrapped up in coming-of-age questions. Other books focus on other considerations, but usually from only the perspective of the main character – therefore urban fantasy and romances focus on twenty-or-thirty-something people with no children while mysteries pivot on forty-to-fifty something people no longer with children. Each book providing just a small window into larger questions.

While reality has people isolated in friendship groups by age, reality also is the spectrum of age. I remember the hunger I had attending church while at college. The undergrad college consisted of two very stratified age groups – students and teachers. No parents, no children. Then I went to church once a week and I became reacquainted with the scope AND VIEWS of different ages. The division between college’s Ivory Tower population and the wider gamut available outside the brick walls was stark.

I needed those trips.

And creative works could use a wider range of ages to hold up the mirror of our imagination when reflecting reality.

Read Tamsin’s full article – again the link is: – and maybe watch the movie again. Review the use of a large cast and when and how AND WHY to introduce new characters.