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What do your characters believe in so strongly, they’re willing to die for it? What are you willing to die for?

How to Make a Character Take a Stand: Hamody Jasim

For most of us, this isn’t a question we’re faced with every day. But Hamody Jasim was in his teens when he realized that fighting for what he believed probably meant dying for it—and he chose to enter the fight anyway. In this episode of Character Test, I talk with Hamody about some of the highest-stakes choices of his life and how he came to make them.

Hamody Jasim is the author of The Terrorist Whisperer. Today, he lives in North Carolina with his family. But he grew up in Iraq under the height of Saddam Hussein’s rule. He was arrested and tortured as a young teenager for getting on the wrong side of a corrupt police officer.

Hamody came of age just as the Iraq War was breaking out, and decided to join the newly formed Iraqi military. He went on to lead a security team that foiled several terrorist attacks on Americans, including catching a mole high up within the Iraq military who was assembling a suicide vest in the Iraq ministry of defense.

Normally on the podcast, we examine a fictional character and ask a series of questions to determine whether they’re a good character. But Hamody’s story is so intense, we decided to put him to the test.

Listen to our conversation on the podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidSpotifyStitcherSimpleCast, or here below:

What does it take to be willing to die for something? In this episode, we talk about how to take a stand for what you believe in.

You can find Hamody on his website; buy his book, The Terrorist Whisperer; and watch the documentary of the same title.

Have you ever found yourself in a life-or-death situation? What did you do? Tell us about it in the comments.


Today’s practice is a writing prompt: A character is put in a life-or-death situation because of a stand they take for something they believe in. What’s the situation? What’s their stand? And what does the character do next?

Write for fifteen minutes. When you’re done, share your writing in the comments section, and be sure to leave feedback for your fellow writers!

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. You can follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).
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