Character Driven Stories

It’s 2 A.M. Your two best characters are hunkered down in a three-foot trench across a hundred yards of barren ground torn and battered by artillery–across from a machine gun nest occupied by, you guessed it–the bad guys. One of your characters is a combo Stallone/Jack Reacher action maniac. Your other character is Woody Allen. What will Stallone/Reacher do? What will Woody Allen do? You’re a character driven writer, you know what they will do. Woody will try to talk his way and walk his way out. He’s an intellectual, a thinker, a pontificator. He will give a dozen reasons, logical and a little hysterical, for not going forward. Stallone/Reacher lives by a different code. Hit them before they hit you. Stallone/Reacher may take a minute to decide the most decisive way to blast the bad guys, but he’s definitely going to attack. He’s not going sit in a trench with Woody hoping the danger will go away. Character drives action.

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