Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Logical Action and Reactions

April is the month, we are focusing on logic. What can I say? I am one of the most illogical people you will ever meet. I have to be told when my characters actions, then their reactions don’t make sense.

Why is this you ask? Personally, I think it has to do with the wiring in my brain because I think what I write makes sense. Now, the question is can I undo this system? My answer is anything can be relearned, but it takes longer than if you had started with a clean slate.

I have learned (in most cases) to ask myself would I do this? If I would, then I ask what my reaction would be. Here is a simple example: Tommy knocked Jane into the muddy puddle. Jane started crying lifting her dirty wet skirt out of the mud. Now, this is Tommy’s action and Jane’s reaction.

To go a little farther if in my story Jane was a tomboy her reaction above would not fit the character. A tomboy would not cry she would be fighting mad. She might even attack Tommy and rub mud all over him.

Another scenario: Tommy pushes Jane onto the mucky ground, and Bobby sees him do it and rushes to her aid. Jane, the tomboy half-blinded by mud and water rises screaming, her fists swinging at Bobby. Here again this is logical for a tomboy because we know she can’t see the person coming to her aid.

Learning the logical aspects of writing is not any easier than the other elements we have to study. It’s all hard and takes time.

Thanks for joining me today.



Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Good morning, Sandy! Very good advice. When I'm editing after the first draft, it's funny when I come across a goofy reaction, or a reaction before action, and I wonder, "What was I thinking?" :)

Have a great day!

Captain Hook said...

Very good advice, Sandy.

It's strange, but that should be a no-brainer to all of us writers, yet I know I have trouble with characters acting illogically.

TJ said...

We all get hung up on it. I don't know why, but logic is like a box of chocolates - sometimes all you get is nuts.

Edie said...

Great post, Sandy! Every once in awhile, my characters act illogically too. That happens when I don't listen to them and have them do what I want them to do.

Chiron said...

Great post, Sandy!

It's kind of like imagining our characters are actors, throwing down the script and saying, "No WAY, would my character say THAT."



Sandy said...

Stacey, you have one thing going for you and that is you catch yourself. Smile.

Captain Hook, we all have to watch the action/reaction because it's so easy to write anything without really thinking about it.

Thanks for stopping by Stacey and Captain Hook.


Sandy said...

LOL T.J., you're right, and I'm the nuts.


Sandy said...


My characters act illogically when I don't stop to think how I would act.

Thanks for coming by, Edie.


Sandy said...


I wish my characters would do that very thing for me, then I wouldn't have to think so hard. lol


Marianne Stephens said...

Brain writing will catch you all the time. What our brain thinks is good as we "see" the story unfold, doesn't always translate to logical thinking on the computer screen!

Sandy said...


What a profound statement. You're so right.

Thanks for stopping by.


Donna Marie Rogers said...

Great blog, Sandy. :-) I think we've all had instances where our characters do something illogical or out of character. That's where a good CP comes in. LOL

Laurel Bradley said...

Hi Sandy,
I ask my characters "Are you sure about that?" all the time. Sometimes my logic and theirs don't jive. My husband was trying to explain the opposing side's political thought process to me last night, and it took me forever to get it. I think I just didn't want to. :-)

Anyway, great advice, Sandy.


Sandy said...

Hey, Donna, you certainly have a good cp. Yay, Stacey!

Thanks for stopping by.


Sandy said...

Hey, Laurel, my logic and my husband's never jives, and that's worse than not jiving with your characters. lol

There are actually good people on both political sides, they just agree on the way to get things done. Smile.


Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Late chiming but this post was actually spot on, Sandy!

And no, you're not illogical. Just slightly nuts, like the rest of us!

I guess logic comes from knowing your characters, and that determines if you know how they would act/react in any situation.

But, a good CP always helps!!



Sandy said...

Oh, Z, I think I'm more than slightly nuts. lol Yes, I agree that the key could be in knowing your characters.

Yes, CP's are a huge help. Smile.