Wednesday, February 18, 2009
What motivates your character? Are you a writer who has all of your characters figured out by now? I didn’t think so. We all want the character to be complex, filled with enough backstory to create depth, and most of all have a character that the readers love.
Ask yourself what motivated your character to do that. Did she pull a gun on someone? Why? Is her childhood so painful that she is retaliating against everyone and anyone? Did your character get up in the middle of a fancy dinner held by a well respected person?Why would he or she do that? What motivated her/him to do something out of, so-to-speak character?
Sure your character has bits of flightiness or uncertainties but it is the motivation behind their actions that is going to propel the reader to keep reading. The reader has loved this character for a few chapter’s now and making her/him do something out of the ordinary better have some weight behind it or you’re going to lose your reader.
I think a consistent build up will have the reader knowing your character better than you. If you cause him or her to do something that isn’t within their personality, your reader will pick this up immediately and drop the book in the trash because you did something that they did not agree with to their beloved character.
Sure the character is going to change throughout the story, but give them a motivation to do it, a cause. The internal conflict is going to drive the story along and everything that you as the author does to build this character up will be rewarded in the end. I’m not saying take a door mouse of a girl and turn her into the new age Super Hero. Maybe her internal conflicts are more subtle between the rights and wrongs of life.
I recommend that you don’t take a spineless waif, and turn them into a strong-willed persona in the matter of a few paragraphs. You need to have justification and motivation behind everything that is driving your character to become strong-willed. The right words are going to form your character and if you don’t carve them carefully before you display it to an editor, then those words will be like the Thanksgiving Day feast of last year, long gone.
Think before you form. It is your character and you will want to mold him, shape him and develop him so that your reader can see where the babe was born and how he grew into everything you dreamed for him.
Isn’t writing great? You have complete control over the destiny of a character. You are your character’s GOD. Now be as creative as He was and create perfection.