Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Making Choices

Writing is a process. And as we are on that journey of writing a million bad words before anything gleaming is produced, our minds become more astute when it comes to the creative process and the eventual development of our one-day-fictional-masterpieces. Along the way we learn a variety of caveats: show don't tell, every word should earn its place, less is more, etc...

Well, today a critique partner and I had a great discussion on the importance our characters being presented with decisions and making choices. In my first through fifth drafts of my manuscript, my MC had a lot of things happening to her. She went here and found this. She went there and someone told her that. And along the way she learned things, met people, had a face to face with a bad guy, and then wham bam happy ending. Unfortunately, this does not make for very good reading. An intriguing book presents circumstances that force characters to make choices. Should Harry Potter go after the horcruxes or the hallows? Should Gemma listen to Kartik and block her visions or should she embrace them? Should Fire use her ability to control minds to aid in prisoner interrogation?

Will you choose to write characters that bouce around fictional words where things happen to them or will you choose to create characters that are active, make choices, and move the story forward?
Happy Writing!


  1. I write about characters who are active. I used to include passive MC's, but they aren't interesting to write or read about.

  2. Great discussion! I'm about 10% of the way to my "million bad words," but I'm learning so much. Thanks for sharing your insight!

  3. I much prefer those characters who make choices - even when they're the wrong choices. :)

  4. I find passive MCs infuriating. I like them to do unpredictable things, rebel and even make what the reader knows to be mistakes. There are too many passengers in YA fiction.

    I'm half way to my million words. I hope they're not all bad though:)