Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Characters (part deux)

Yesterday I talked about where your characters come from. Today I want to know where you get their motivation. Not necessarily the plot of the story, but the motivation for them to do the things they do.

For example, in my current WIP, Violet is trying to stay out of the spotlight with her sisters because of her...I'll just call it her *issue*. This issue is what motivates her to take the job as Ellis' nanny, (because she knows she'll never find a husband), motivates her to stop going to the balls, (because of what she overheard) motivates her to leave Ellis (because of Georgiana).(eventually) Her issue is tied up to everything she's feeling and doing. Pretty much. If I've written it correctly.

Ellis, on the other hand, has almost no motivation. His biggest concern is making sure his daughter Janie is happy and when he finds Violet to be his nanny, he feels he's pretty much all set. He cruises through the story with nary an angst, until he speaks to his father James. And then all hell breaks lose. Ellis' motivation through the rest of the story is not losing the woman he loves. Who is....???

Georgiana's motivation is to snag Ellis and separate him and Violet. Jealous bitch that she is. Her true motivation is the money, of course, I mean you could see that coming a mile away couldn't you.

But here's a question--what if I had made Georgiana a 'nice' character. What if she was just a delightful creature full of love and lollipops. What would her motivation be then? Of course to provide a loving stable home for Janie and Ellis, but then where would Violet be? Truthfully we wouldn't even have a story now would we.

Which is one of the reasons I love to write. I get to play god, like Aris, and put my characters in situations and see what happens. So gentle readers, where do you find your motivations? From the gods, or right down here on earth?

No comments: