In Story by Robert McKee, he makes a distinction between characterization (the age, weight, gender, dress, lifestyle, friends, causes of a character) and character (the truest self of a character, illustrated by their choices under pressure). This got me thinking—and realizing—that I know very little about my main characters, and I have a lot of work to do in that area. Toward that end, here’s a prompt:
15) Describe the decision your character would make in the following situation:
Your character is in what they consider to be a permanent relationship. This might mean marriage, might not, depending on their views. They are in a relationship that they considered would probably last them the rest of their lives. They’re on a journey far, far away from their spouse/partner, when suddenly, they meet The One. There is no doubt in your character’s mind that this is their soul mate, the person they were meant to be with, and the other character knows it too. However, they have no idea how much time they’ll have together. What does your character do now?
Hebrion is considered to be my most honorable character in my current wip. He is loyal and honorable in all of his dealings, and represents his House well. In this instance, let’s assume he is married, and not only married, but married to the sister of the person whom he comes to find is his soul mate.
Ideally, if he were at home, he would go to his wife first and explain the situation. He can’t resist the desire to be with his soul mate, long-time marriage or no. Scandal in front of the entire House, honor bedamned, he has to be with Silmande.
However, a world away from his wife and his House, faced with the possibility of having to wait who knows how long before he can divorce his wife and be with Silmande, Hebrion decides the marriage doesn’t matter. The minute he found his soul mate, the marriage was void. He is already divorced in his heart, at that point, and the law is a formality. He would never want to hurt his wife, he loves her in a way and respects her, but to him, soul mate comes before all. He would be with Silmande as soon as possible, and while he wouldn’t make the decision lightly, he would not be tortured by his decision. In his mind, it is right.