Character Motivations [Wriye Blogging Circle]

So, I just realized that I spontaneously started posting as part of this blogging circle and didn’t even bother to explain it at least a bit in my first post. Really. *SMH at myself*.

I belong to a writing site called Wriye wherein you make a writing goal for the year and it consists of a forum with many friendly supportive members, and lots of wonderful things like challenges and procrastination boards. They also have a Wriye Blogging Circle. A topic, theme, assortment of questions on why the sky is blue, ahem, A writing topic of sorts is chosen each month and it is our valiant mission to answer it.

February’ post is about Character Motivation!

This time, I’m gonna post the questions with my answers below.

What is the main motivation behind your characters?

Eh, they all are typically internally motivated and it’s often a combination of curiosity and love that propel my chars on their journeys.

Where do you come up with that motivation?

To be honest, motivation is one of the parts that…just happens. It happens spontaneously either while I’m plotting or writing. I’ll go “oh, that’s right. He’s doing this because he’s trying to right the wrongs done to his brother since he’s the only family he has left.” Then later when he finds out the wrongs were actually right, his sense of self and motivation has to completely change. If I can’t figure out why a character is doing something right away It does bother me a bit, but eventually I come up with something as I continue plugging along. If not then it sort of miserably spirals along and I throw motivational things at my characters to see how they respond.

“Here! A girlfriend!” What? You don’t like her? Wait…she doesn’t like you??

“Why don’t you hate your brother now? He lied to you!” …you can’t?

Etc.

Do you tend to use the same sort of motivation in every novel or do you tend to mix it up more?

Usually I mix it up. It’s not really intentional, but my main flow of going from idea to novel starts with something like: Ok, I have a MC. They are like this. Their background it sort of this and this, and here’s the problem they have. Why do they try to solve/overcome this problem? MOTIVATION. And since I try to make all my MC’s a little different, the way they go about solving and why they solve a problem is usually different. But yeah, I’ve had duty, love of another, family love (both with regards to parents and siblings), finding self (I think this is another that often comes up, but is never the only motivation), survival, and more. Not to mention there is usually a combination of motivations in a novel, and often more than one motivation for a single character (either at the same time, or as the character evolves).

What is your favorite example of character motivation?

Oh! So one of my favorite authors is R. A. Salvatore, and I particularly like his stories about Drizzt, a dark elf. The interesting thing is Drizzt’s motivations. He is born into a matriarchal community where men are little more than slaves and valued solely for their capabilities in fighting (either as a warrior or mage/cleric), and back stabbing is admired. In any case, he somehow develops compassion and kindness and while his main motivations at the beginning of the series is to survive the society he was born into despite it conflicting with who he is as a person, it later turns into being motivated by his love for his friends and for what is “right”.

BONUS

Do I get a cookie? Eh, it doesn’t really matter cuz I can just bake ‘em anyway.

Share with us an excerpt from your current or completed novel(s) that demonstrates your favorite example of character motivation.

Minor background for this excerpt:

This is from a novel I am currently working on. Evalin, the main character and POV, is leaving (well, running from) her home because she’s been wrongly accused of setting fire to her own house, where her mother died. Her father is mysteriously missing, and her and her friends are heading towards the Capital, Arisan, to find out about him.

She felt as though she was running from and towards something at the same time. She wished it would be different. She wished that things hadn’t turned out the way they had. She glanced in Gabe and Rei’s directions, pleased they were coming with her even though they didn’t have to. She knew they’d understood the choice and wouldn’t be swayed even if this route proved dangerous. Still, she couldn’t help but feel the emptiness in her heart as she looked back on the village she was leaving behind. The home that had almost nothing that would hold her there even if she had stayed. She turned her face towards the path ahead. Towards the long journey that would hopefully take her to her father, and her friends to the things that they desired as well.

So yeah, I like this one because it’s dual motivation! A combination of survival and love motivate her. It also hints that there are motivations behind her two main friends, Gable and Reita, for choosing to come with her despite the danger posed.

Yar, that’s it. Until next time!🙂

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Re-springing Your Step.”

So this might seem absurd (or at the very least absurdly simple, but taking a shower always leaves me feeling fresh, energized, and rejuvenated and ready to take on any task ahead.

I always seem to forget this as I drag myself from my warm bed to the cold bathroom in the winter, but once I’m in the shower I realize it once more. It’s like the act of cleansing myself is removing the residues of the day before both physically and emotionally. I can start fresh, anew.

In any case, one of my goals for this year is to blog a bit more. So, I am just trying to post more often. More likely than not I’ll forget later on, but I’m really going to try to get on at least once in the morning to answer comments or post a tidbit. Or to post about how I’m going to post on something interesting.

Cheers! (And a picture for ya- although this was before I chopped off and dyed my hair XD)

Me trying some soda I made that I had let ferment too long and it was more like an alcoholic beverage

Me trying some soda I made that I had let ferment too long and it was more like an alcoholic beverage

A Single Resolution

2015 is going to be a great year. I don’t know how or why, but sometimes I’m just optimistic like that. Besides, have you ever heard of how being positive about something often makes the results better? Like believing you’ll do well on an exam works more in your favor than believing you’ll fail?

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In any case, I’m being optimistic. I’m also in a good mood. This year has started off busy, but not terrible. I now am the proud owner of a cat (who was my family’s cat, but she is now living with me). I think that’s one of the things that although can be stressful in and of itself, is also calming. And it keeps me to a schedule.😄

On to the subject of this post. A single resolution. I have decided on a sole goal for this year with regards to writing. Don’t get me wrong, there are many ways I plan to try to do better in my writing this year, but this is the single most important one I’ll chose.

Resolution: Write more often (more specifically, every month).

Last year I probably would have laughed at that resolution and said it would be an easy one. This year I’m more understanding. Last year was the first full year I attempted to write. I had always written bits and pieces of stories since I was young, and in 2013 pursued my first NaNo and won. Running high on the win, I decided to shoot for another NaNo in January 2014, but I wanted to have a group that would be supportive and have a similar vibe to the intensity and comraderie of NaNo. That’s where I found wriye– a group dedicated to writing year round.

At the end of last year, while having written a considerable amount of words and finishing or coming close to finishing several stories, I could clearly see that I had not written every month (since I kept track on a spreadsheet of my daily word counts). So that’s my goal this year. Write EVERY month.

And now, a mantra to remind myself: A new year, a new month, new words.

Okay, it’s a little lame, but I tried.

Until another post my friends.

Pictures 2014- 8,9/52

So, I’ve decided that I actually won’t include my digital art in the 52 pictures for this year. Mostly because I want to improve my hand drawn art more than my digital art. I will still post what I make in paint or what not, though, as I plan on still making things. (Especially because I like making banners for one of the writer forums that I frequent). Anyway. Onto the drawings. I can tell I’m improving- now the only problem I realized is that I tend to draw mostly head shots. Which isn’t bad. But now that I’m getting better at faces, I need to start practicing at those other things that trip me up: Hands, Feet, and Proportions. So, look forward to that!

 

This first guy was an image I’ve had in my mind. It’s a very rough sketch, and I’ll probably draw something similar but ‘zoomed out’. I was going for slightly maniacal,  so I didn’t mind that his eyes don’t quite line up, and that his mouth is so…whatever it is. I am very pleased with the mouth though, the teeth came out exactly as I wanted!

Happy: Mouth/Teeth, general picture, the freedom of willy-nilly shading (and with how that turned out).

Unhappy: That arm. Ohhhhhhh that arm. It doesn’t quite look like it’s his, now that I look at it again. It looks like someone else’s…And it’s supposed to be HIS RIGHT ARM. Eyes, hat, and general angling of hat and face. It didn’t quite fit what I was thinking. But I think maybe acting it out myself or looking at pictures might solve that.

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This is James! Main character in the novel I’m currently working on finishing!

I’ve been struggling for awhile to give him a face, and having trouble. Needed to look young and professional, but not too professional.

Anyway, this was inspired by Neal Caffrey ( Matt Bomer) from White Collar. Who I realized, as I was watching an episode on netflix last night, was very close to how James was. And I went from there, and this picture just fits him. It is “James”.

Happy: hair, shading (mostly), overall picture, and suit

Unhappy: eyes are not the same, nose is slightly too pointy, mouth looks like I just stuck it on there and didn’t give it any volume, tried giving the 5 o’clock shadow and was unsuccessful, ear could be a bit better, and shading was OK. 021214_0002

Pictures 2014 7/52

Pictures 2014 7/52

So, I drew this in paint🙂 I was inspired by a post that my sister shared with me, about a guy who started making art as a complete beginner and posted something to a thread on a forum every day or so. His progress was amazing! He started as a complete rookie, and now he can paint and draw like a pro! In any case, I’ve been wanting to get into digital art for awhile now, but resisted because I’ve never done any before. Haha, oh, my apple is terrible. At least it’s better than just a solid red one, though. But I’ve got a lot of practice to do.

I’m going to mix in some more of these pictures with my hand drawn ones though, because you don’t get better at something instantly, but with practice. And I want to be able to make good art on the computer.

Ok, that was a bit of a long post. If you want to see the link I’m talking about- here it is!

Pictures 2014- 5,6/52

The new thing about these drawings are that they are from my imagination rather than from a picture like a couple of the first few.  I think it shows both how much I’ve grown just from learning about shadowing and lines (from pictures), and how much I have yet to grow (from how awkward the pictures are)! Anyway, I’m excited at my progress so far, and I can’t wait to see what my skill is like in December!

Just practicing and kind of made it up as I went along.

I started this on a spur of the moment. I felt like drawing, but didn’t know what to draw, so I just started with a head looking to the left and went from there. It’s a bit awkward looking, probably from not knowing what I wanted to draw, but it’s surprisingly good compared to things I’ve free handed in the past. I think the neck and shoulders came out okay, but the face is off.

Dressed Up

Yep, this is on a note card!

I really liked how this one turned out. Of course, I focused more on the proportions and such, and did little to no shading.

ugh. Drawing hands is so difficult!!!

Homemade Cream Soda

So, I’ve a few pictures to put up (three!), but before that I wanted to post about some homemade cream soda. There are two ways to explore on this project- the main difference being that one is done on the order of hours, and the other is done on the order of days. And there is another big difference as well, but I’ll get to that later…

 

I took my recipes from a wiki for making cream soda.

But the point of this isn’t really to tell you how I made it (the wiki does that well enough), it’s to tell you what I thought about it!

We’ll talk about the first method from the site (the yeast method…aka if you are having a craving for cream soda, by the time this one is done, you won’t have a craving anymore). It’s pretty simple. I used a spare Naked bottle (which worked perfectly since it was 500mL) and prepped it up.

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The site tells you to place it in the frige, but mine took a longer time ( I think because it was so cold!). After about 40 hours or so it nicely plumped up and I stuck it in the fridge. Ok, it’s hard to tell, but you can see how it’s slightly rounded in the picture below.

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Then, after like 12 hours, I tasted it.

Pardon my immature taste buds, but, YUCK.

Why, yuck? Well, I’m not particularly fond of alcohol, and as a result, I usually can’t tolerate the taste of it (things that are fizzy are usually an exception, but not in this case apparently).  I thought the taste of alcohol was too much, but don’t let that stop you from trying it and maybe you’ll like it! I also probably messed up and let it go on too long🙂

 

Onto the second, and my preferred, method!

INSTANT GOODNESS!

Here was something fast, and simple. Dissolve sugar in some water over the stove, add flavor, keep in fridge, and add some soda water when you’re ready to drink. I also included a helpful picture below of when you know your sugar is ready to be taken off the heat. The first is just after stirring in sugar, and the second is a few minutes later after being at a boil for a minute or two.

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1391484318346This was before adding the soda water.

Personally, I think that this was best soon after it was made (while the syrup was still warm). It was delicious! Rich, smooth, creamy, and I didn’t even add the scoop of ice cream they suggest!

Method #2 is the clear winner for me! But which one do you prefer?

 

Sarah