Your characters’ motivations

I wrote about Motivation long ago but feel the need to preach about it again. I saw a movie where the protagonist does something totally out of character. It drives me up the wall every time I see the movie. So I’m going to vent.

Writers, make sure your characters have reasons for what they do! If your characters change their minds, or do something contrary to who they are, make sure the reasoning is there. Whims don’t cut it for the sake of a gleeful “what if?” or because you want your story to go in a certain direction.

This crosses a bit into making sure your characters aren’t mere cardboard cut-outs, but even well-fleshed-out characters can end up doing something against their nature or conscience if the writer isn’t paying attention.

A selfish person doesn’t just give for no reason, one who is normally a doormat isn’t going to stand up for herself unless something has led her to it. A person who normally is calm and reasoned isn’t going to do something incredibly stupid without some explanation. A person who has opposed something isnt going to do a turn-around and take up that cause without justification.
Get me?

Make sure your characters do what they do because it’s what they’d do, not because you want them to do it.

There. I’m through venting. Back to your holiday activities. Merry Christmas.



Holiday Hiatus

Okay – December is turning out to be more chaotic than I expected.

I know that the more classes are cancelled, the harder it is to get them started up again, but right now I think it’s the right thing to do. So classes are suspended until January.

If you wish to keep up with what’s going on, and be informed when classes are starting up again, subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive notices. (Look for “Email Subscription” in the right column at the bottom.)

And Merry Christmas everyone!

Dare to Be Bad

I’m shamelessly using a friend’s blog post for this week’s lesson.

One of the things mentioned frequently in class by quite a few of you is the seeming inability to finish what you start. I think you’ll find Rick Copple’s post “Dare to Be Bad” to be a kick in the pants.

I dare you to read it, then I dare you to be bad!

And I dare you to show up tomorrow and tell me how bad you’ve been! Er, writing-wise that is.

Saturday, 6 p.m. eastern, at the Writers’ Retreat in Twinity.

Be there, and keep writing!