Introducing characters out of character


When your readers first meet a character, unless you aretrying to intentionally mislead, that character shouldn’t be doing anythingthey don’t normally do. If you want to make it a point that Johnny almost never
cries, don’t introduce Johnny in tears and then have somebody just say that
it’s exceptional. Character breaking moments lose their significance when they
happen too early because readers need to know the character to appreciate the
difference. If you want to show that an event is so sad it makes a stoic person
cry, you need to have already established a stoic person. You can’t just have
one suddenly show up and cry because readers have no proof they were stoic in
the first place.

If you need to say “Character never does X” after a character does X, you’re having them do X too soon.

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