Old Dogs…New Tricks

April 10, 2014 at 8:49 am (writing)

Guild Of Dreams

by Chantal Boudreau

A friend of mine recently posed the question whether or not characters should be predictable, and followed with the argument that if a character does do the unpredictable, it can jar a reader out of a story. You’ve already established that a character behaves a certain way, so having them act differently would just be wrong, right?

Not so fast.

Demanding that a character adhere to pre-established norms makes the assumption that character development ends once that character has been thoroughly introduced to the reader. We all should understand that that’s just not true. Aside from the fact that some people enjoy being unpredictable, even sticks-in-the-mud will do something out of the ordinary from time to time. You may know somebody quite well, yet see them transform gradually as they grow and mature. And how likely is it that a traumatic event or a life-altering experience will…

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