How many of you write serious/drama filled stories? Or even characters that truly suffer consequences?
I think it’s often that we, as creators and almost like parents, don’t want our kids/creations to suffer terrible consequences, but I think that’s one of the reasons that makes characters so interesting and relatable. Some of the best stories I read have situations that got terribly messy for the protagonist because of a decision they made.
Personally, it is just thrilling to watch a protagonist make a poor choice in life.
And it’s kind of exciting writing your protagonist making poor choices in life and then writing out the consequence of said choice.
(Or maybe I’m just absolutely horrible to my characters and I indulge in works where I can feel better about my own poor choices. Who knows?)
I really feel like watching characters fall and suffer because of it is great because it reminds us that they are human. There are consequences to their actions and to get off scot-free is unrealistic. Sure, there are times in life where we can make a bad choice and get away with it buuut that doesn’t always happen, and to assume that because a protagonist is a protagonist means they get a pass is a bad move.
It’s really important to include human-like scenarios into your story, it helps give the readers a connection, could be small or big, but we recognize that this character is relatable. There is a familiarity in this story, maybe whatever happened is completely different than what happened to the reader but the fact there is a consequence is where the bonding happens.
Often you will see two characters bond over loss, poor choices, trying to be a better person, etc. This totally happens with readers as well. Some of us, not necessarily all of us, do suffer consequences from actions we’ve made and we try to grow from it and seeing that happen with a protagonist, helps us bond with them. “Having a bad time but trying your best? I feel you bud.”
But some times, seeing characters take a fall and act upon that fall in a negative way helps us too. A lot of us are told to be a bigger person, and sure, we could be, but some times that’s not what we want because the hurt is just too much, so seeing a character fight back and fight through something, can help our inner demons bond with them and therefor, there is still a bond being created between us and the protagonist, because we know that if we were in their shoes, we would absolutely be doing the same thing.
Honestly, a perfect example is John Wick. If I had the skills he had and someone killed my dog, you bet your ass I'm coming for them and wreaking havoc while I do so.
This isn’t an article saying you should write consequences for the poor choices your character made, I mean, you kind of should, but also it would absolutely catch the attention of a reader like me.
This also isn’t an article saying you should make your character be or not be a bigger person, that really depends on the type of character and what kind of “growth” they want in their life.
I like protagonists that act and seek revenge, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, maybe not even yours, but… is it the character’s?
I think that’s one of the reasons I’m not really fond of the whole “superhero code” where it’s “no killing” because I just know I’m an eye for an eye kind of person… Of course you want to instill good morals onto people but uhhh, how long is someone willingly going to let a murderer live to only end up murdering more people because of your “good morals”?? That, in a way is a consequence of a superhero’s choice to let a murderous villain live. But it really sucks, and it’s annoying, especially if it’s on repeat. Which it always is.
Anyway, how do you like seeing consequences play out? Do you enjoy it when a character suffers because of a poor choice? Are you sick like me where you like to see people act with a vengeance? Do you feel a bond form with said character because of the above? Do you enjoy writing this type of content? Let me knowwww.
damehelsing at 12:00AM, Sept. 19, 2021
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