Do we need to write a consequence for every action?

A reaction for every action? Large or small?

The short answer is yes. I think so.

Once I grasp this concept, things began going a little smoother. Now in each scene, I stop and ask what will the characters consequence be for each action.

Even the smallest of decisions can move a story forward. For instance, stopping to buy a coffee can result in meeting the right or wrong person. Turning left instead of right can result in an accident or a chance meeting.

See. Each decision your character makes must have a consequence sooner or later to drive the story to the end.

It’s simple cause and effect.

My current work in progress I’m using action-reaction to move each scene forward. Even the most mundane of things.

Such as…

  • action: she pulled her sweater tighter
  • reaction: draws unwanted attention
  • action: he seeks her out
  • reaction: love or hate, life or death?

This could go further and carry on in another chapter. And with a little luck, things will fall into place like a row of dominos.

Look at a scene in your WIP. Is there any action that could use a reaction? Even if it is ordinary, mundane and everyday stuff it might be what you need to fill in the gaps.

Read these great articles on consequences for our characters.

Consequences of Your Character’s Actions 

Writing an Action Outline

Tell me what you think.

Do you believe there must be a reaction to every action?

Can you see this helping propel a story forward?

Got any tips how you weave action and reaction into your story?


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15 thoughts on “Do we need to write a consequence for every action?

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