I love throwing mine into impossible situations and pushing them past their limits, but some writers really struggle with this. After all, these characters are like our friends.
So, here’s another (slightly nicer) way to think about it. Straight from the mouth of a lovable blue fish:
Marlin: I promised I’d never let anything happen to him.
Dory: Well, that’s a funny thing to promise. If nothing ever happens to him, then nothing will ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.
If we keep our characters safe, we also keep them static – no change, no tension, no stakes. Not much fun for readers either. By pushing our characters, though, we give them room to grow, gain new experiences and become a dynamic force in our novels that readers fall in love with.
Go ahead. Take a dare.
Let your characters touch the butt.
And if you need help with your dialogue, Dory has excellent advice on that too.