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  1. BadPenny

    BadPenny Member

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    When your characters disobey you.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by BadPenny, Jun 10, 2009.

    I have a major sticking point in my novel. I need the MC to spend time with a very important, but rather despicable, secondary character. He is a major driving force to the plot, and to the MC’s development. But I don’t know what could happen to make her give him the time of day. I thought I had established that she is very naïve and desperate. I thought I had established that he was other-worldly. I guess I failed, though, because a reader (not here) insists that she would not trust him. Unfortunately, I think he is right.

    I guess my question is this: what do you do when you character won’t do what you need her to do?

    Please help!
     
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't blame the character! You just haven't provided the necessary motivation. You have to make her an offer she can't refuse. Perhaps Mr. Dethpicable has some information she really needs, or is threatening someone she cares about, so she needs to deal with him.

    You are the writer. Set up the situation that forces them together.
     
  3. BadPenny

    BadPenny Member

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    Thanks, Cognito. You are right. I don't blame the character. She knows herself better than I do.

    It is clear to me that she does have the necessary motivation. I suppose my task is now to make it clear to her. Is there a good way of doing this without writing too much about her thoughts?

    Thank you.
     
  4. arron89

    arron89 Banned

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    The "good way of doing it" is writing your character consistently and realistically from the start. If you're doing that, her motivations should be apparent to the reader without over the top stream of consciousness thought-revealing. If she is acting against what her normal reaction would be, then you may need to walk the reader through her thought process, but it should never be so outside of the character's reaction that it is unrealistic...
     

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