This is more of a rant, so if you’re looking for advice, you can skip this post.

Have you ever seen or read about a character that at some point in the story encounters an issue that he was neither the cause of nor at fault with… yet when he’s confronted, he says nothing… for no apparent reason?

It’s especially frustrating when the person who confronted him later finds out that the character wasn’t at fault… but for some reason doesn’t ask why that character didn’t tell him the truth.

In cases where the character is standing up for, or defending, someone else, it’s understandable. However in other cases where there is no logical reason for it, the character keeps his mouth shut, thus incurring the wrath for something s/he isn’t guilty of.

So my question is why? Why does a character do this? All the writer accomplishes by having their character do this is getting the audience mad and making them yell at the screen/book saying, “What are you doing? Defend yourself! It wasn’t your fault!”

Am I missing something here? Let me know in the comments.


Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have multiple published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

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Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!



3 Comments on “Major Character Trait Annoyance! #Writing #Author #Advice

  1. In a similar vein I’ve seen so many anime where the villain says he must destroy the human race because of all the wars and clearly how evil they are and none of the heroes call him out on it. They just go ahead and defeat the villain because it’s the right thing to do. Challenge him on it! It may not change the villain’s mind but it will give the audience an alternate perspective that the human race is worth saving and more good than evil.

    I can only assume not defending yourself is simply because the other party or the crowd are so angry that it would be a waste of time. There are times though where I think the hero should just go ahead and be exiled and let the villains have the place, since that’s what the crowd seems to want. Let them see what it’s like and see if they ever admit to being wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right, but there are some glaring examples of this that are more annoying than others.
      To name the most glaring, let’s take a look at Jaws. There’s a famous scene where the mother of the Kitner boy who died smacks Brody in the face and blames him for letting people go swimming. What does Brody do? Nothing. I’ve actually screamed at the TV screen once or twice, “WHY DON’T YOU DEFEND YOURSELF!?!? YOU TRIED TO CLOSE THE BEACHES, THAT BUREAUCRAT MAYOR BLOCKED YOU ON IT!!!”
      But… nothing…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I saw something like that in an Iron Man Annual that works better. Iron Man (Rhodey at the time) got his tail kicked by Goliath and tossed half way across the country. When he returns some jerk berates him for not stopping the city from being damaged and Goliath escaping. Iron Man starts to speak up but the guy won’t let him say anything and walks out (with help because he was injured in the fallout). This also played into the character arc for Rhodey in the story, worried that he’s not as good an Iron Man as Tony, who was recovering from alcoholism at the time and trying to start a new company now that he’s sober. So that’s one example of the trope working to the story’s benefit instead of making the hero look bad in the eyes of other characters.


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