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?
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”.
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! 🙂