When my writing is stuck I tend to look back through all of the stuff I have (in no particular order) and read over things. One of the things that I’ve noticed with this current novella is there seems to be no times that I can find where someone robs the main character of her agency. This is rarer for a female characters.
And for those who don’t understand what I mean when I say agency here’s a definition: the ability for a person, or agent, to act for herself or himself. A person who is not allowed to act for her/himself is lacking in agency, or is said to have been denied agency.
I’m writing a character who tends to make her own choices and not let her circumstances hold her back from doing things her way. Probably one of the biggest complaints that we see in a lot of YA novels right now is a lack of agency. Of course most readers have never heard the term and don’t phrase it that way. They speak about the how idle the character is or how little forward momentum the plot has or how the character doesn’t dictate their own actions.
There are types of stories where it is expected that characters will lose agency or have very little of it, but the overall trend of it being the case where we work with main characters who have very little to do with the outcome of their own story is getting tired.