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Characters need to separate themselves from the crowd at the right time. For instance, if there is a tsunami, or something like Hurricane Katrina, most people will behave more or less alike. And in most cases, it's perfectly ok for characters to be passive, in the sense of not standing out from the crowd. It's what happens "afterward" that distinguishes one ...


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I think maybe you need to look at the difference between being "passive" in the sense of not making decisions or "passive" in the case of not caring. The situation you've described seems like your character is the first kind of passive. If he's also the second kind of passive, things will be trickier. But if it's just the first kind of passive... if it's an ...


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You don't want your character to be passive throughout your novel, but I don't see any issues with him being passive in the first chapter if that sets the scene. A consistently passive or reactive character is hard to make compelling, but even the most proactive person sometimes finds herself in situations beyond her control. I just wouldn't extend it for ...


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The motivation doesn't have to be massive or book-spanning. As Cole correctly notes, it could simply be "getting to the door." Or "not getting an elbow in the eye." Or "not choking from the smoke" (or whatever the problem is that's causing the evacuation). Or conversely, maybe your character's goal has nothing to do with the situation he's in. Maybe he's ...


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Ask yourself who this novel is really about. If it's about the main character, presented in chapter one as part of a crowd, you for sure want to make him more of an active agent in the story. If it's about a whole bunch of people and you change from chapter to chapter, it's fine to make him a little more passive. Either way, you're thinking of this in the ...


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I saw this handled in a movie, (It has been a while, so I can't remember which one) but you can just skip it. You have what went before and what happened afterwards, and the shock of the transition to jar the reader. In the movie the script called for the wife to be killed in a car wreck, but the director just filmed her and her husband chatting in the car ...



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