Good morning and welcome to Monday Blogs. Today, we will be exploring our character’s motivation. Oh, yes, this old chestnut. It’s always good to go back to the basics and rework them to keep our stories interesting.
Ah, character motivation sounds so easy to predict. It’s simply how your character wants to achieve their goals. There are so many routes you can go with this. A protagonist will always be seeking a solution to the problem they’re presented. An antagonist will be looking for ways to interfere with the protagonist. Simple. Right?
You’re halfway there. There is a problem though. You’ve decided the protagonist will have only pure, good intentions while the antagonist’s intentions are evil. Your characters are weak, one sided.
You see, your characters need reality in their lives. No one is all good or all bad. They have characteristics people might not like. You, the author, need to make them human. Make your characters act like people on the street do. Give us a reason to identify with these people. A protagonist who never does anything wrong isn’t sympathetic at all. In fact, some people might consider them so goody-goody that they will hate the character right from the start and your book will be panned in reviews.
The same goes for the antagonist. They can’t be pure evil. They need redeeming qualities. Sure, you want your reader to hate the antagonist, but you have to give them a goal, a reason for being there other than being the bad guy. Don’t these people have dreams too? Making them the antagonist could be that you simply make their dreams the opposite of the protagonist’s.
By giving our characters less than stellar qualities, we are giving them a real life appearance. People can say, “Oh, I know someone like that.” Instead of thinking your story is incredibly boring.
About K.C. Sprayberry
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond. game when plotting a new story.
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