November 23rd, 2011

Burp

Writing Excuses 6.25; When Characters Do Dumb Things

Writing Excuses 6.25; When Characters Do Dumb Things

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/11/20/writing-excuses-6-25-when-characters-do-dumb-things/

Key points: Don't just make character do dumb things because the plot requires it, because then readers disengage from the character. Let the audience have information that the character doesn't, but don't let the reader get it too far ahead of the character! Dumb choices should make sense as far as the character knows -- even if the reader wants to let them know that there is something else they need to know. Dumb choices may be personality based, a character flaw, or driven by emotion. Pay attention to the consequences -- really dumb choices should have strong consequences. Avoid plotting that requires a character be stupid. Dumb choices often are dumb because you didn't lay the groundwork. Give your characters good reasons for their choices.
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[Brandon] I'm going to go ahead and do our writing prompt because I've been gone for so long from the podcast. I'm going to suggest that you actually create a really solid romance where the characters can't be together for good, character-driven reasons. Not because of a misunderstanding. Not because they have an argument in act one and then hold a grudge. But because of legitimate, either cultural biases or character biases. Write a story about that romance where in the end they don't get together.
[Howard] And not because one of them is dead?
[Brandon] And not because one of them is dead, and not because either ot them are stupid. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.