Friday, November 18, 2011

Quotes and Cookies: The Moment of Decision

Today's quote is brought to you by the 26th president of the United States.


"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing."

~Theodore Roosevelt


Is this great advice for life in general? You better believe it.
Is this great advice for your characters? Ohmygosh, YES! A huge, huge, huge YES!

So... is it okay to make your MC indecisive? Of course! As long as you deliberately want them to fail as part of their character arc. If it's not part of their arc, or if it's later in the book, then I think the answer is NO.

Of course you want your characters to be sympathetic. You want the reader to root for them. If the MC can't make a decision, or if they don't care enough to decide, or if they just wait for other characters to decide everything for them, the reader stops rooting for them. They may, however, start rooting for that secondary character who IS making the decisions, but do you really want the reader to wish the MC would just die so their title of MC would be available for the secondary character? Of course not!

So yay decision making! Go out and make a decision right now! Even if the decision is to stare at these cookies for a while. I know that's what I'm deciding to do right now. Mmm. Plus, there's chipotle powder in them. And lemme tell you. Cold day outside... warm heat in a a cookie... heaven. (The recipe is in the photo credit link if you're drooling right now.)

Photo Credit: Merryweather Mama
Have a FABULOUS weekend!

31 comments:

BECKY said...

Great quote, Peggy! And yummy lookin' cookies! What I'm going to do right now is get away from my laptop and begin baking the pies I'll have for dessert tomorrow!

Kelley said...

Yum, those look amazing, and that quote was amazing too. Nothing is my biggest enemy. Getting started is the harrrrdest part.

Joshua said...

I had something intelligent to say, and then I saw those cookies.

Jessie Humphries said...

OMG, I am the queen of indecision. I almost don't even go shopping sometimes because I find myself staring at the mayo section for a half hour weighing the pros and cons. I WILL MAKE A DECISION TODAY! I WILL BE DECISIVE!

prerna pickett said...

so true! I' incredibly indecisive, and it frustrates my husband to no end.

Angela Cothran said...

Great post Peggy! The thing that I dislike about indecision is that there is nothing endearing about it. I usually makes me dislike a character.

LindaK said...

Nothing drives me more mad than an indecisive, wishy-washy MC. It's really disappointing when you feel the need to scream at a book...

By the way, what the heck is chipotle powder?

Kelley said...

In my NaNoscript...haha. I just made that word up.

Anywho... :)

One of the MCs is indecisive, collecting information so she can be decisive. The other is too decisive, making decisions when he doesn't know why he is.

If I'm doing it right, I think it will be pretty cool... :)

WilyBCool said...

Awesome quote! Now I need a cookie.

;D

Ruth Josse said...

That quote is for me! I am so indecisive and it drives me crazy. So I will choose something instead of nothing. Except for when I can't decide which shoes to get. Nothing is better because I probably can't afford them anyway.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Mmmm.... Cookies...
I used to be the WORST at making decisions. It would drive my hubby crazy! But now I'm a lot better. He's taught me well. I try to make my characters do the right thing instead of just stand there being indecisive, but sometimes they make stupid decisions. Like we all do at times.:)

JeffO said...

Excellent quote. Got to love Teddy. Was he the last President to have a mustache?

Anyway, my MC is definitely, annoyingly indecisive at a certain point, but part of the development is in getting over that. I hope I pulled it off right.

Those cookies do look good. We've got snow falling right now, I could use some heat.

i'm erin. said...

Your cookies kill me. I love that quote. It pretty much nails it on the head. When a character makes a decision it defines that character.

Kristine said...

TAMMY COOKIES! Now, I KNOW those ones must be delicious.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I'm highly decisive. I just reserve the right to change my mind about what I'm feeling decisive about :)

Cookies look AMAZING.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Becky-- Mmm. Pies. Sounds fabulous! My mom used to be the pie-maker when we got together with all my aunts, uncles, and cousins, and I loved it. I'm guessing that's your role, too?

Kelley-- "Nothing is my biggest enemy." That's the best phrase ever! I love it.

Joshua-- Hahahaha! You're killing me, Joshua.

Jessie-- The mental picture of you trying to figure out mayo purchases is AWESOME. You go, girl! Be decisive!

Prerna-- Hahaha!

Angela-- Yes! That's how I feel exactly.

LindaK-- I totally agree. And it's kind of like Cayenne pepper. It's made from Chipotle peppers, though, so it's a little bit more of a smoky heat.

Kelley-- Ooo! That DOES sound like it will be cool! I love it!

WilyBCool-- Me, too. I think I need to make these again soon.

Ruth-- Well, um... okay. You've totally got me. There are definitely times when choosing nothing is the best thing! But I guess then you are still being decisive, right? You're making a conscious decision to choose nothing, so it's still all good!

Chantele-- We all need to make stupid decisions sometimes. :) I love that your hubby is the one who got you over being indecisive!

Jeff-- It's a great character arc, indeed! We haven't had snow yet, and it is KILLING my daughter.

Erin-- Have you had them before? If not, I'm bringing some over. They will kill you. :) And I totally agree! Decisions define a character.

Kristine-- Of course they are! They really, really are.

Tasha-- Hahahahaha! I love that!

Imogen said...

I am a very decisive person, and generally I think my characters are too. I'm far more likely to make them make a wrong decision than none at all.

Tara Tyler said...

mouth watering
why must you torture us!
they look like the cookies we had in the sky club =)
mmmmm

J. A. Bennett said...

I'm totally drooling! I love your quotes :)

Carrie Butler said...

My MC is particularly found of making decisions I won't. If I deliberate over something too long, the story starts unwinding itself and I'm stuck chasing after it. *grins*

Chipotle powder? Hmm... I'm intrigued. Have a great weekend, and feel better!

Julianne Donaldson said...

Great post! I struggle with decision making myself. It's a good thing to keep in mind for my characters. And Jessie, I saw just the thing for you the other day: Baconnaise. Yep, that's right. it's BACON flavored mayonnaise. Now there's no real choice, right?

Misha said...

So true. I think it's part of the problem with my NaNo project. I have strong characters, but two of them are taking away the third's opportunities to make decisions.

Needs a ton of rethinking now.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Great quote! Cookies look yummy :)

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Loved the quote and forgot the question as I began staring at the cookies.

Bethany C. said...

I married an indecisive person, which is why I always have those last 10lbs to lose.

Michael Offutt, Expert Critic said...

Mmmm delicious cookies. I love decisiveness in an MC.

Romance Reader said...

Delicious cookies! Now I'm hungry!

tfwalsh said...

Got to remember that quote... so true.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

sigh I go back and forth - thanks for following my blog!

Jolene Perry said...

I'm rewriting a manuscript right now, and I LOVE what you wrote here :D

SO true.

E.R. King said...

Love the quote! I don't like indecisive characters for long. But if it's done at the right moment and I, the reader, feels indecisive as well, that's when I am sucked in.