This is a bit late but better late than never. Recently, life got in the way with moving furniture and getting the new place situated. However, today I like to say that everything has been moved with only the exception of a box spring for the bed. Other than that, we’re officially moved in.
This past week, I’ve been working on character development in Crimson Queen. I haven’t mentioned that story in a while but I have been working on it bit by bit. My focus, I’m ashamed to admit, has been all over the place since getting a new place. However, now that that is over and done with, I can focus more on what I like to do. For my female lead, Lucinda, specifically, I needed to change her personality a bit.
Previously, it was more geared toward rejecting ‘female’ tasks like sewing and all that but I realized that that outlook on life wasn’t working out. Instead, I changed her dreams, so to speak. Lucinda wants a family but she also wants to follow in her father’s footsteps of mastering the way of a sword. In this way, Lucinda became a more 3-D character as oppose to being a ‘cliche’.
I will still continue to tweak her a bit to stay true to her character but I think I’m on the right path. At least, I hope I am. Plus, since ending Camp NaNoWriMo earlier this year, I have the majority of the store already in the third arc. After some more revision, Crimson Queen should be finished soon. Fingers crossed.
I have talked about having motivation to write but there’s an even bigger motivation that you have to keep in mind. Hence, the title. A few months ago I was told that one of my characters was lacking motivation. My reader couldn’t tell why (let’s call her Person A) she was putting herself in danger. Since Person A is the lead in this story, I knew that this was a very serious problem. How can I engage with the reader if they don’t know why my characters acts the way she does?
It’s not like I didn’t interrogate Person A until her ears bled. I knew all about her childhood trauma and even took step to mention that in the story. I even wrote a short story about her childhood trauma. That information ended up lacking and I’m very glad that someone pointed it out to me. An extra pair of eyes is always helpful.
The way I fixed this situation was by typing some lines that literally said why my character was putting her life in danger. I made it seem like she was also having her own moments of doubts before realizing her motivation. This might seem like the easiest – in my humble opinion- route to take but sometimes you can’t get away with it. Sometimes you just have to rethink your character or your plot. Actually, I hope this works out. If not, I have to go back and write an write a scene that gives more information about Person’s A motivation.
Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of types of motivation; inner and outer motivation, villain motivation, etc. Not only does motivation give a deeper sense of who the character is but it also helps move the plot forward. If the character has a clear goal then most of the plot should fall in. Motivation and plot go hand in hand.
So if your character’s motivation doesn’t come across, it’s best to take a step back and dig a bit deeper and ask why. I found this cool link here that has a lot of other links for character development and questionnaires. Enjoy.