I think I have a cold. One that makes me sneeze when I should be yawning, and for the past week I’ve been awake til all hours of the night. So last night I started thinking about why I’m stuck within the first chapter of my W.I.P., and by the time my eyes were finally closing, I figured it out; my protag doesn’t have the proper motivation to propel the story forward with conviction.
A sizable issue to be sure.
When I originally mapped the character I said her motivation is “to live up to her name, to find her strength, spirit and own mind.” and her goal is “to be world-renowned (within the business) photographer.” But I’ve since realized that both of these are goals. Goals in a story are concrete, achievable things, a motivation, however, is much more abstract. For example: the result is murder, the goal is to get away with murder, the motivation is because the victim was dating the girl the killer wanted for himself, thus making the girl the surprise victim in the end to help piece together the killer’s motive. (I know I did that kind of backwards, but that’s how investigators see it; and now how I am forced to find my own character’s motivation.)
So the main character’s motivation is to find a man her father would be proud to call son or more abstractly; approval. A simple enough thing I guess, but will it carry a whole story… we’ll just have to see.
Send me your thoughts on the subject… Even in school I had trouble with the motivation of characters in books… I suppose it’s not something you grow out of, but must learn out of…
Thanks for the listening ear as always…
Happy Hump Day.