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Monday, November 29, 2010

Logical Actions and Reactions

Today, we are focusing on logic. Smile! Imagine me writing this article. Ha! What can I say? I am one of the most illogical people you will ever meet. When I started writing fiction I had to be told when my characters actions and reactions didn't make sense.

Why is this you ask? I think it's because I didn't think of my characters as real people with real thoughts, real feelings, and I didn't know how to make them real. I had to be taught to get into my characters head just like I had to gain knowledge of about every other aspect of writing.

I have learned (in most cases) to ask myself would I really do this? If I would, then I ask what my reaction would be. Here is a simple example: Tommy knocked Jane into the muddy puddle. Jane started crying lifting her dirty wet skirt out of the mud. This is Tommy's action and Jane's reaction.

What if Jane were a tomboy? Then that reaction wouldn't fit her character, crying fits a more prissy type of little girl. Tomboy Jane would be fighting mad. She would fight back. She might even drag Tommy into the mud with her.

Another scenario: Tommy pushes Jane onto the mucky ground and Bobby sees him do it and rushes to her aid. Jane, the tomboy half-blinded by mud and water rises screaming, her fists swinging and hits Bobby. If it were the dainty Jane, she would allow Bobby to help her up and lead her away while crying all the way. It depends entirely on your character what action reaction is chosen.

Learning the logical aspects of writing fiction is not any easier than the other elements we have to learn. It's all hard and takes time.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
of Addiction and The Deceived
http://www.eirelander-publishing.com
http://www.skaymarshall.com

10 comments:

Paris said...

Very good point, Sandra. I think the number one reason that characters don't work for me is that they behave illogically. Nice examples:-)

Marianne Stephens said...

The character traits we disclose in our descriptions dictates how they'll react. Their reactions have to be logical for the type of person we create.

Kenzie Michaels said...

I think this is the reason some stories just don't 'work' for me: I read them and think, 'Right. Who in their right mind acts like that?' But give me a believable story and I'm hooked:)

Amber Skyze said...

You've made a great point. If a characters actions and/or reactions aren't logical I'll stop reading the book.

Katalina Leon said...

Sandy, this was a great reminder to write a character's reaction and not your own.. Thanks.
XXOO Kat

jean hart stewart said...

Great examples. SO many things to learn (And keep remembering) as a writer.

Cornelia Amiri said...

Great post. Even though I'm mostly a panster I have to make character charts for hero and heroine. When I'm rewriting I'll have a funny feeling and I'll think something's not right about that dialog or that scene and I'll look back at the charter charts and then I'll know that the charter wouldn't' say it that way or wouldn't recast like that and I can fix it.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Paris.

You're right, Marianne.

Thanks for your comments, Kenzie and Amber.

It's definitely a reminder for me, Kat. xoxo Smile. When I first started writing my characters didn't act real. They acted the way I thought they should act. lol

Jean, there is a lot to learn, but all of us have to keep learning and expanding.

Cornelia, I'm mostly a panster, too, but I keep charts for most of my characters.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by.

Tina Donahue said...

Good post, Sandra -a lot of truth in what you said.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Tina.

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