It’s important that your characters have their own individual and unique personalities, behaviors, substance, viewpoints, beliefs and opinions.
And that you, the writer, let them use those traits to dictate what happens in a scene or how a particular situation plays out.
It makes for a more organic and natural flowing story.
It also gives more realism to your characters.
But it’s difficult to let your characters do this, if you don’t know the character of your characters.
Character meaning: The essence of the person…what’s inside that makes that character tick…the inner rock-bottom soul that colors his/her outlook on life.
Is he nice?
Is he nasty?
Is she going through life with an old resentment that colors her every decision?
Does he have a broken heart?
Does she have a deep-seated religious belief?
Does he or she have a phobia, an unrequited secret love, a nervous habit, an accent that gets more pronounced when nervous, bitten down fingernails, a past crime that continually haunts, a fear of ending up in purgatory?
Sitting down and writing out the character for each of your characters, so that you know them intimately, allows you to know exactly what each of those characters would do in any situation in which you’ve placed them.
It might not be what you would do but would be what that character would do.
And you may be surprised at what it is they would do…along with the audience.