A friend of mine got a note complaining about a stupid decision a character made. Of course, in real life people make stupid decisions all the time, but in drama or comedy we want to feel that things happen for a reason.
I would generally translate this note to, "You haven't convinced me why this character would do this dumb thing." I would generally address the note by making sure that I'm really selling the character's flaw that makes him or her do the dumb thing. Are they vain? Make them do it out of vanity. Are they devious? Make them do it because they're being too clever by half.
A character can do incredibly stupid things. But unless they're Joey-from-FRIENDS stupid, you need to earn their mistakes. Using the mistake to reveal or reinforce their character flaws seems to work well.
Hey, Alex, this is an amazing observation. I find myself doubting character's stupid actions constantly, and now I know a way to phrase it that makes more sense. Thanks!
@Jesse: i was thinking exactly the same thing. I don't know why that thought hadn't occurred to me before, but it's totally true.
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