Characters with Agency

Critique partners talked about characters with agency. I wondered what exactly does the term, characters with agency, refer to in writing picture books. I began researching to uncover the meaning. I found it is simply a character who can take initiative to solve his or her own problems.

Stories should include characters who can take action regarding the issues occurring in their world. Characters should not depend on parents or others to solve their problems.

I was writing a story about friendships. I found it difficult to write resolutions that relied on the actions of the main character. I wanted friends to help with solutions. I struggled until I changed the point of view for my story. When I wrote in a different point of view, I uncovered ways for the main character to create his solutions.

I wondered if other writers had similar difficulties. Do you believe characters should solve their own problems? How do your stories handle problems?

1. Do you establish the character as the hero of heroine of your story?

2. Do you have a friend rescue the main character? Or Do you think this is acceptable?

3. Do you have strong feelings that the main character solves the problem?

3 thoughts on “Characters with Agency

  1. This was very interesting to read, Pat. I never stopped to think about Characters with Agency and thought about your questions. I think they would all work depending how the plot unfolds. I like that you looked at your story with a new perspective and came up with a new idea. I can’t wait to read! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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