Characters Actions… They Have To Make Their Own Choices!

Something that I know I struggle with, and I know some other people probably struggle with, is the conflicting personalities between them and their characters.  For example, I’m writing a little story, an innocent middle school romance, and I wanted my main character to be pretty mild-mannered.  In fact, I made her a writer.  I’m not saying all writers are mild-mannered, I’m obviously a writer and if you asked any of my friends, they would tell you I am far from mild.  And that is where I ran into a little trouble.  I had my character deep in thought while standing in a lunch line, imagining a new character’s appearance.  She was so caught up in her mind that she didn’t notice when the line moved forwards, and the boy behind her grew impatient, rudely prodding her in the back.  Though part of me knew she should probably just mumble an apology and try to pay closer attention, I allowed her temper to rise and she lashed out verbally at the boy.  The result was a muttered apology from the boy instead, and yet my main character’s cheeks still flushed in embarrassment.  Was this the right choice?  I still ponder it.  You see, my own reaction would be to snap back.  Perhaps not so rudely, but I would have still stood up for myself.  So the notion that I would have to write down my character’s own unique actions, a character I have complete control over, mind you, that aren’t parallel with mine is hard to accept.  These small little details, these little reactions, are what I personally think displays the character’s personality.  Sure, whether they decide to defeat the dragon by either playing hide-and-seek, outsmarting it, or meeting it head on definitely show us who the character is.  But it is the little actions that explain him or her to us, and how he or she handles the climax sort of… completes his or her personality.  This is something I will have to practice.  Hopefully I’m not alone.

This is The Raven, off in search of Inspiration.


2 thoughts on “Characters Actions… They Have To Make Their Own Choices!

  1. Yes, even small actions can add another perspective to a character’s personality. I really enjoy a complex character, maybe just because it makes him seem more life like. And yes, you always feel the urge, in writing a story, to make your character do what you would do or what seems best, but then again to make him seem more life like your are inclined to think through the situation and decide what most likely would happen, not always choosing that path, of course, but not always choosing the dexterous course either. (You are not alone.)
    Overall though I really like writing fictional stories (although I have just recently started) maybe it is just because I like the feeling of being in charge of everything, you command everything through the pen. (Or maybe the finger if you are typing.) 🙂


    • Thanks for commenting!
      Yes, it’s these little things that we must pause and think through. When we can plow on without struggling to decide the character’s next course of action, it is a sign that we truly understand and know our character well.
      And that’s one of my favorite parts of fictional writing, too. Being in charge of everything. If I wanted a sparkly pink unicorn with rainbows sprouting from it’s eyes to appear in my main character’s bedroom or in the hallway at school, well then, that unicorn’s going to be there!

      The Raven



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