Monday 3 November 2008

Monday Memo: Why?

Memo: Why a character does something is just as important as what that character does.

Character motivations have been a big thing for me over the last couple of weeks. I have one character that really can't settle on a good reason why he's doing the things he's doing. His personality keeps flickering around and he just won't get with the plan at all.

I know what he's going to do.

I've written what he's going to do.

But I can't finish the damn story until he admits defeat and just confesses why he's doing these things.

I've come to the conclusion that some things just have to be explained or they can't happen in a story. If a character says he dislikes something - not just isn't in the mood for it, but hates it on a really primal level - the reader needs to know why.

Come to that, the writer needs to know why to.

Alister, as he informs everyone very early on in the story, doesn't approve of kink. Okay - fair enough, not everyone does.

But the problem is, he keeps changing his mind about why he doesn't like it. Doesn't understand it? Thinks he understands it but has it all wrong? A bad experience in the past?

He's gone through every possible reason and some I didn't even know existed until I started writing this story - and I've played along and re-written the story for each new theory he's come up with.

It's a 20k story and I must have written about 50k on it so far.

Yesterday, four days before I want to send the story to my editor, he hit on a new theory.

It sounds plausible. It just might work. He might stick to this theory for more than two minutes.

I'm currently re-writing the last chapter to see how it works out for him this way.

Wish me luck people.


Random bit of other news:

My Nano novel - A Model Submissive is on 4000 words as of last night - that characters in that are cooperating nicely.


Jane Smith said...

Ahhh. Those characters. They sometimes just won't own up to how they really feel. And just as with physical people (I hesitate to call them real, as that implies that our characters aren't, which wouldn't do at all), it's hard work getting them to tell us the truth. Worth it--but hard.

Kim Dare said...

Hi Jane,

Sorry, I'm sure I replied before - blogger must have ate it.

Yep, I firmly believe that all the people who live in my head are real.

At least I got the truth out of him in the end - it was nothing like the truth I had planned for him, but it worked out better than my original idea - so it's all good.