S35E5 – When Characters Make Bad Decisions

Few things are more annoying than when a character makes a bad decision. We’re not talking about ones which are bad within the context of the world and the story. All characters need to make a bad decision or two in order to keep the plot moving and interesting. We’re talking about the decisions that don’t make sense for that character. An assassin who has to show off her skills at every turn to prove she’s the best, when the actual best assassins are never known. The sensible one suddenly going off the rails for no reason. Miscommunication for the sake of employing the miscommunication trope, even when the character has been established as being open.

These apparent contradictions signal to the reader that the character is underdeveloped or that the author is forcing events to appease the plot. It never feels whole or natural. Listen to this episode for more about how to fix this problem to make sure your character decisions make sense for them.

First aired September 15, 2022.

About the Author
I'm an editor and cover designer for AspenHouse Publishing. I am also a host for AspenHouse's poscast, Writing Roots.

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