Readers can’t resist turning pages when characters are facing tough choices. Use these 5 keys to weave moral dilemmas into your stories—and watch your fiction climb to new heights. - Steven James
Key #1: Give Your Character Dueling Desires.
Before our characters can face difficult moral decisions, we need to give them beliefs that matter: The assassin has his own moral code not to harm women or children, the missionary would rather die than renounce his faith, the father would sacrifice everything to pay the ransom to save his daughter.
A character without an attitude, without a spine, without convictions, is one who will be hard for readers to cheer for and easy for them to forget.
So, to create an intriguing character facing meaningful and difficult choices, give her two equally strong convictions that can be placed in opposition to each other.
For example: A woman wants (1) peace in her home and (2) openness between her and her husband. So, when she begins to suspect that he’s cheating on her, she’ll struggle with trying to decide whether or not to confront him about it. If she only wanted peace she could ignore the problem; if she only wanted openness she would bring it up regardless of the results. But her dueling desires won’t allow her such a simple solution.
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