I am in the middle of writing this really great book. The problem with the really great book is that I have the protagonist (main character) on a bus headed to a gritty inner city that she knows nothing about and where she knows absolutely no one.
My problem is that I know how her story will end. I'm not entirely sure just yet as to how she will get there.
I have options.
There are a couple of ways she can end up here, but my first priority is to watch her grow and to make sure that she is a completely different person when the reader closes the book (character arc). Somewhere within these options is a kernel of truth that only belongs to my protagonist. It would be easy to look at this scenario and plot the outcome by her mindset and her past experiences. The reality is that these circumstances don't always push you towards a decision.
How many times have you looked at your options and just did something totally ridiculous? Because you felt like it. Or you were curious. Or you didn't feel like the hassle of doing what was right?
Your characters go through the same thinking. Now, let's remember the outcome of those decisions that you made because you felt like it, were curious or didn't want the hassle of doing what was right. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most people end up saying "I really learned from that situation" when they pursue a dumb option?
I think my character has enough common sense to know better but she is curious...and it will be curiousity that will open a wide door of options to her that will ultimately push her towards a new life and a new understanding of life.
As you're writing, make sure that you consider this tricky part of human nature. Careers and degrees don't always make someone a good decision-maker. Sometimes, the reasoning is simple and will sit somewhere between:
-I felt like it
-I didn't want the hassle