on Fiction University:
Many novels fail because their protagonist lacks agency.
Early on in my writing career, I’d never heard the term “agency.” Then I started hearing it everywhere. I suspect I’d crossed a learning threshold and had begun reading more advanced blogs and books, and had stumbled into a higher level of writing advice than I had previously seen.
To paraphrase regular guest author, Rochelle Melander, I had leveled up as a writer.
These days, I hear folks talking about agency all the time, and the word has become part of my writing vocabulary. But I’d bet plenty of other writers still encounter it and have no idea what it is, or they get the general gist of it in context, but aren’t really sure what to do with it.
Imagine my shock when I realized I’d never once written about it here. 3,000 articles on this site, and not a single one on character agency.