Wednesday, May 1, 2013
I've been trying to figure out what it is about the stories I didn't like. Bad writing? Boring plot? No and no.
I think I finally figured it out. It's character motivation--or, rather, a lack of it. The latest book I read had an interest plot, wonderful world building and a variety of unique characters, but it fell flat because the heroine didn't desire anything; she was just along for the ride. She had a stubborn personality, did some daring things, and was very likeable, but she didn't want anything. Nobody's that altruistic!
As an example of how to do it right, take Fullmetal Alchemist. Ed and Al are totally driven to get their bodies back. Plenty of other things happen to them, but that is the force behind the story, and you keep watching episode after episode because you want them to succeed too. (And, of course, this is combined with fantastic world building, loveable characters, and fascinating plot.)
I also think of the Hunger Games, where Katniss's driving force is her love for her sister and her desire to keep her safe. Or Lord of the Rings, where Frodo must destroy the ring to save the Shire.
This is the kind of motivation that I want my characters to have, and what I've been working on in my WIP; the kind that keeps people reading and that keeps my characters going.
What are your characters motivated by?
This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Check the link for some of the other blogs participating in this event!