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Taking risks is unto a purpose. Think of a single raindrop, splashing into the quietly calm surface of a lake. The event is isolated, and you may be inclined to imagine the ripples, but then you await for the water to be calm again.

Now think of a downpour splashing onto a lake. There are very few ripples, but the effect is just as magnificent as the sole rain drop. But in this case, you may not be waiting for the water to be stilled.

Let’s use these two examples to understand risk taking. Maybe your character does something out of the ordinary but it’s momentary.

It doesn’t define who she is. You will spend the rest of the book proving why your character is the way that you first described her, even though that isolated risk was an important moment in her life.

Let’s go back to the island where the girl sees the man eating her bread.

If the girl never responds aggressively again, especially if she feels remorse for what she did, then you have created an isolated raindrop with your risk, and soon your character will be as calm as the lake once was.

If you go the other route, then you can also have a compelling story. The downpour is the idea that your character snatched the bread from the man’s hands, and it felt good. It was what she needed to stand up for herself. Now she has a series of events where she is empowered through her aggression.

Keep in mind that she doesn’t have to be a brute, but she can simply just be standing up for herself. This approach gives the reader the feeling of a triumphant main. Think of your main.

What risks will she take? Will she be calm like the lake and the one-risk-raindrop, or will she be volatile like the lake in the downpour? Both routes are equally as powerful.

Either way, note that it was the risk that pushed her to that point. This element will be something that the reader will admire about your writing. It’s the idea that not only do circumstances push your character, but there is something within her that has the potential to snap if she is pushed.

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