One of the biggest problems I tended to have in the beginning, and still have to check myself on these days, is how much insight a character has to guess on something. What do I want them to get, and how easy is it for them to understand or see the connection? What does it say about them?
Characters can be in tune with the world around them or tuned out completely. They can tap into feelings of, “That doesn’t seem right,” or be blind to them.
Hardest to get this right is when you’re writing with others (see: roleplaying). What’s called “metagaming” is basically giving your character the key to the problem and making them solve it. I heard a lot of flack given to friends and from them about this, people just get annoyed and bitter about it. The best bet is to pick up on smaller cues and communicate with the others involved at what should be seen and connected to and what can’t.
Having a conflict solved so easily takes away from the story, quite literally, and the best thing to do is drag it out. Conflicts and issues that arise are the adventure and the hills of your story. This is what takes readers up and down, what reveals the true dimensions of your character and what kind of trouble they can get themselves into and out of.
It sets the pace for the novel, or short story, or movie, or whatever it is you may be writing for. Equating it to a non-fiction piece, it’s like getting to the point without really getting into any details and calling it good.
But the intuition of a character determines a lot, their interactions with others, how they handle a situation, what they do under pressure. It’s something they rely on heavily in mysteries, and in danger it can make or break things. For romance, it can be what pulls the two together, or keeps them apart, or pushes the ex away a little further.
Thinking about it, how intuitive a character is really can set the pace for a lot, but there are plenty of other elements that lead to the story, obviously.
It can also lend to the feel of the novel. Are their “gut feelings” based around how they solve problems or understand things, or are they very much a scientific, logical person who doesn’t rely on that? Do they have a religion based on what they feel and see in the metaphysical, or do they push religion away, or are they a little bit of both?
Intuition counts for a lot more when you really think about it, which ties into thinking power and the ability and skill to deduce one thing from the next. It’s taking in minute details and large ones at the same level and being able to differentiate.
Above all, quite literally, it shows your character the way.
-The Novice Wordsmith