Let's face it, if Katniss never volunteered to take her sister's place in the Hunger Games, the story would'v been totally different...and probably not as exciting.
What would Harry Potter's life been like if he'd decided not to go to Hogwart's?
What if Bella didn't move to Forks to live with her dad?
It all comes down to this. Major decisions lead to exciting adventures which then lead to great characters and an even greater story.
What decisions are your character's making? And maybe even more important is when are they making them?
Major character decisions need to come somewhere near the beginning of the story. If not, the reader will most likely get bored. Also, your MC needs to make the decision for themselves. Don't let other character's take that away from them. Every time someone else makes a decision for your MC, it can weaken them.
If, by chance, another character does make the decision, what choices does that give your MC? This is the only time other character's should make decisions...if it leads to worse choices and a better adventure.
Make your character take the hard road. Put them through the worst and then do it again.
No matter what they go through, though, make sure they can make it back out. Realistically. And make sure your MC leads the way. If they aren't leading, kill off those above them or at least make those above them fail miserably. Then the MC can choose to take charge.
Kind of sad, but that will make a great story!
Do you have any advice to add for making great character's through major decisions?
For those who are wondering about the twist in my flash fiction, the boy releases the fish to get his real body back. So technically, no, the fish doesn't become the man. The boy becomes the man, but he couldn't have done it without the fish...and he's been searching forever to find that fish. When the boy makes the bowl teeter and fall, he wears a sly grin because Gran isn't in the shop. And she's the only one who knows his secret.