Today I decided to talk a little bit about regrets. As I was walking to school today I was thinking about things that I have not done and wish I had done or things I had done differently. It is interesting how things affect us at different times and how they can help us understand ourselves better.
Often I hear about the regrets of things we wish we hadn't done that would have made our lives better like I wish I wouldn't have skipped school so much or I wish I wouldn't have... (you fill in the blank their are numerous answers far more than we could imagine). There are also the regrets of things I wish I would have done. Like I wish I would have stayed at a particular job longer, I wish I would have traveled more, I wish I would have.... (Once again too many things to fill in the blank).
The new regrets that I had never thought about but make up who I am are regrets that would not have necessarily made my life better but I wish I had experienced. These regrets are much more personal because they bring out the bad side of who I am but who I have pushed down so as to have a healthy life. These regrets are the ones that we are taught by our parents not to have such as hitting other kids. One regret that is a "bad" regret that I have is I wish I had hit the bully that picked on me. Hitting the bully may or may not have made my life better but it was always taught by society to not hit and so I didn't hit. I regret not hitting him. This is a more grey regret I understand but hopefully you get my meaning without me having to spill my soul :)
I think about our "perfect" main characters who always seem to do what is right and never think bad things or regret taking the quest instead of staying home in the nice comfy bed. I think to make our characters more alive and real to our readers we need to give them regrets that are bad as well as good. Meaning the character should regret yelling at his mom and regret not kissing his best friends girlfriend.
So there are my thoughts on regrets. What do you think? How have you used regrets to shape your characters?
Just a reminder not many have signed up for the giveaway. Even if you do not want to participate I would appreciate all the help and mentions you feel you can give :)