Throughout our lives we make choices.
Some choices are easy ones, such as do I choose a healthy salad with dressing on the side or a sandwich that could feed a family of four.
But then there are other choices, and dilemmas, we must face in life and many of these choices involve the easy choice or the hard choice.
Have you ever noticed that the RIGHT choice is often the harder one?
The easy choice might seem good at the time, but it can lead one onto deep, dark paths that will only mire your soul in regrets.
While the hard choice might be difficult to stand firm over in the beginning, it becomes easier as time moves on. The hard choices temper and mold you as you grow and mature, to live life, giving you hidden strengths.
No matter what choices we make in life, it is within our character to be accountable for our choices, good or bad.
The same can be said for our story characters.
When writing a story it's our job to force our characters into various situations. It's how our characters make choices in the heat of the moment that reflects upon their character throughout the story.
And no matter what happens in the story, those choices your character makes will sit with them forever.
For example, in my current project, my character has one bullet in her gun that she can use. When she shoots the noise from the gun will alert the bad guys to her position.
My character escapes along with a young girl. The girl falls behind. One bad guy catches up to her and will, 1) brutalize her for escaping, 2) rape her, and 3) torture her because she was the only one they caught, and more bad guys are on the way.
The question is, What does my character do?
Does she kill the potential rapist? He's evil. It would be justified. But this would leave the young girl in the hands of the bad guys who aren't far behind.
Or does she make the more difficult choice? Does she choose to kill the child? The innocent who had no power to change her destiny?
No matter the choice my character makes, she will have to ALWAYS live with the consequences of her actions, and this choice will color all the subsequent choices she makes in life.
Think about it.
Are you pushing your characters to make the hard choices? Or are they coasting through the story because you want them to live happily ever after? Only by emerging from the fire of change can your characters truly grow in your story.