There’s blood hiding in the blizzard and the voices in my head are asking: Why is the protagonist acting so weird? Why is the heroine still friendly with her unfaithful ex? What’s driving this group of diverse characters forwards and are they heading for a memorable climax or just oblivion?
I thought I had nearly finished my final edit of ‘Spiral of Hooves’ but then the niggling voices began. I’ve read a number of blogs recently that have led me to question whether I have made the motivation of each of my main characters clear.
In my head I know why my characters behave the way they do and why events unfold in a certain chronology, but will my readers understand what the words I have written mean? It’s important that I ensure that the motivations are not so much overt but at least alluded to in the characters’ words and behaviour.
Deus ex machina
I may write mysteries but there’s a difference between hiding the clues within the telling of the story, and keeping them so secret that they’re invisible until they spring from the page like dei ex machina.
Hence the need for me, and of course other writers, to check on that motivation as objectively as possible.
Which on a linked tangent has led me to ask: why do I write? Looking back over my fledgling career, I have always written so I could share the stories in my head. However as for writing to earn thousands of pounds, that has never been an objective, although it would be nice to earn something in my retirement.
In addition writing helps me keep my MS at bay, helping me stay focused and occupied. Yes there are days, like yesterday, when I struggle to get motivated to even leave my bed and write an email. Luckily that isn’t a problem every day, just some.
On the editing front I have other areas to address before an agent gets to read anything. I also need to address the ‘how do I get published?’ question, but that’s a topic for another blog perhaps.
In my online search about ‘Motivation’, I have found the following links on Characterisation helpful:
Various articles on Characters: http://blog.janicehardy.com/2011/01/developing-characters.html
Motivation and Motivational Issues: http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/motivation.shtml
Nailing Character Motivation: http://mojobot2000.livejournal.com/2636.html
Plus these Blogs have provided more food for ideas:
One writer’s character creation: http://jaylt.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/kim-lee-on-the-art-of-creating-characters/
A motive in many ways: http://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/whats-the-worst-that-can-happen-your-characters-biggest-fear/
Improving female characters: http://impishidea.com/writing/how-not-to-write-female-characters