Earlier today I posted a shortened version of this pet peeve in my Facebook. The husband unit and I have both talked about this before, but I thought I would share it all with you.
Lately I have been reading the Anita Blake series. Yes it is typical urban fantasy, much like Dresden Files. It does tend to have more and more sex in it (which I have no problem with at all), along with a Mary Sue character. My complaints have nothing to do with any of this. I like romance-esque type novels and it fits well for my style.
However, I firmly believe that eight books into a series, I would hope the character is older, that their life changes like a real person and that the story writing shows the advancement in age. When you have had eight major threats to your life, impressed powerful adversaries and made powerful friends, it isn’t going to happen over a few months or even a little over a year. This happens in all mediums (tv, comics, etc) and it bothers me each time.
I am sure part of my issue is that all books are about teens/twentysomethings (and I have a rant later about that), but even barring that I feel like a whole HUGE section of the story isn’t being told. I like the idea of the story also including the journey of the person through their life, not just episodes that seem to happen one after another.
If I ever did start writing, I would generally age the character(s) AT A MINIMUM the amount of real time that has passed. If they started out age 25 when the first book was written, then four books over four years pass they would be 29 (and by the 20th book they would be AT LEAST 45, assuming you right one book a year). I do this in my roleplaying games that I run. The minimum time between adventures is the time in real life since the last session (unless of course we stopped halfway through last game, but that is the exception, not the rule). I love watching characters progress, and I think the eventual aging only adds to the story.
I really don’t have an answer, and I will still read the books. Maybe I will actually start writing again and see if I can bypass this instinct that writers seem to have to not progress time. I just wanted to share a pet peeve I have with you, so there you go!