I don’t always make the right decisions. It’s probably closer to fifty-fifty. I know that if I had a chance to change my past, (without unraveling time or anything) I’d take it. I’m trying to give my characters some things that they’d want to go back and change. Evil, aren’t I?
I never want to make the wrong choice, so it’s hard for me to make my characters choose poorly. Real life however, is full of nothing but bad decisions. Just because a writer has time to think about a decision doesn’t mean the character does. It’s easy to make the right choice when you can see what is coming, but decisions made in the moment aren’t always the right ones.
The hard part about creating a realistic character is they have to make bad choices sometimes, because people don’t always act wisely. We don’t always listen to reason and act logically. There is no such thing as a perfect person. We all make mistakes, so to have a character never error makes them less real, and flat. So, no matter how smart, clever, and talented my characters are, I still want them to mess up occasionally.
I’m far from perfect, so I tend to want my characters to be all that I’m not, but it’s fun to create a rash character for a change. Their recklessness can create all kinds of story enriching problems and a flawed character always has room to grow.
What is the worst thing you’ve done to one of your characters?