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In the third and final discussion of change, what stories involve change? There are three main kinds.

1. Many stories, especially television series, movies, and adventure novels, involve situational change: James Bond has a new adventure, or Bart Simpson overcomes a school bully.

2. In most novels and stories, characters change in small or large ways (or stalwartly resist change), such as Scrooge’s transformation in A Christmas Carol. This change must be permanent, and it must be dramatized.

3. Fiction sometimes tries to change the reader, the way Uncle Tom’s Cabin galvanized anti-slavery sentiment. Today, literary fiction often attempts this, usually a bit more subtly and directed at individuals rather than at society as a whole.

If you want to write about change, here are a few story ideas:

• This is an ecological thriller about a university microbiology student who decides to poke around the local Superfund pollution site to see what’s there – and gets lucky, if you could call it that.

• This a story about someone who seems to develop multiple personality disorder but in fact the new personality is a refugee from another space, time, and reality.

• This picaresque novel follows a young man who moves from job to job, such as Walmart clerking, Amazon warehouse order preparation, interstellar passenger ship cleaning, and zombie reburial, illustrating the brutal life of service workers.

— Sue Burke

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