Let’s Break Stuff: Passive Characters

I’ve neglected Entertaining Stories for a few days. I have the post over at Story Empire today. Visit me over there. Our topic today is passive characters.

Story Empire

Hi, Gang, Craig here again. I may make this a sporadic series, and I welcome my Story Empire compatriots to steal it and use it any time they like. We talk about all kinds of things here, always with a positive shiny face on it. That ends today.

Today, we’re going to break things. Honestly, we see all kinds of posts about good things to do, helpful tips, and downright cheerleading. We also need to know what to avoid, and the topic today is passive characters.

Main characters have to drive the story. They have to take actions to solve whatever the main issue is. I’ve mentioned before that I keep living documents with pointers and tips. One I saved years ago is from the Pixar recipe book: Readers will appreciate the character more for trying than succeeding.

That’s a powerful thought. Trying must be pretty important in the scheme…

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3 responses to “Let’s Break Stuff: Passive Characters

  1. Great post. I often think of super passive characters as “bathtub characters” (I’m sure I got this from somewhere but I don’t remember where). Essentially a bathtub character, sits in the tub and thinks about things and is just passing the time instead of doing. Sometimes it can work – I’d never want to say it never works because inevitably, someone can prove you wrong. But usually, it doesn’t. As you suggest, if there’s too much passiveness (passivity?) with a character, a rethink/rewrite may be a good option to explore 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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