Character is choice.
C. Robert Cargill (screenwriter, Marvel’s Doctor Strange) had this to say on Twitter this week:
A character’s backstory and affectations aren’t what defines them. They are defined by choices they make. The more interesting the choice, the more interesting the character. Backstory only matters if it informs a choice. Otherwise, it’s just window dressing. Character IS choice.
The vast majority of mediocre and bad stories out there suffer from one key flaw: the protagonist never makes an interesting, meaningful choice. Ask yourself: “What does my character CHOOSE to do that makes them interesting?” If there’s no good answer, you’ve found your problem.
Read the thread at https://twitter.com/Massawyrm/status/997252718535233536