The Gambler

I am not a gambling man. Even if I think anything is a good option, I will usually devote a good amount of time to mull over the options. What could go wrong? What could go right? Is it worth any potential risks?

I think if someone was to hand me $1 million dollars, I would probably stand in front of them with my hand on my chin. Thinking. Just to be sure.

You can never be too sure.

There is obviously exceptions to this sprinkled around my life. I have taken risks that still surprise me, thinking about them after the fact. You could argue that my fascination with English is quite the risk as well. Traveling over seas to countries I have never once visited, all by myself. My faith is the biggest risk I have ever taken, which is the one thing I never take time to second guess or reevaluate.

But otherwise, I can be a slow decision maker. I can be hesitant, miss opportunity, and fall behind people who are more decisive.

I do not condone becoming reckless, but boy is it interesting to read about. Although careful (and thus enjoy characters who share a similar approach and enjoy the same rewards and consequences), I really enjoy seeing protagonists make risky moves.

And if they are not usually a risk taker, I enjoy a story that forces them to become one.

We cannot all have the chance and choice to make safe decisions. Sometimes, you have to make one on the fly, in the moment, and stick with it. Even if you do not know how it will turn out.

That, my friends, is exciting to read about.

If you character has the opportunity to sit back and think over his (or her) decisions until coming to the best conclusion, then you need to make a change to your plot. Tension and conflict force people to choose between ideals, people, locations, and their own personal state of being. Those changes drive an interesting character, and the plot surfaces through the consequences of these risky choices.

If your character takes risks, then your audience will be interested. However, if your character is reckless, they may become tiring to follow.

A careful balance is needed. But once established, you can have a compelling protagonist who will keep your readers engaged.


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