Monday, July 25, 2016

Dispatch #55: Motivation Trouble

by Lupe Fernandez

I'm not troubled by my motivation to write. I'm troubled by the motivation, or lack thereof, of my manuscript characters. Why do supporting characters have more problems than the main protagonist? It's simple isn't? Like peeling an orange with steel skin.

A main character has a problem. She has wants something. She can't get it. If she doesn't get what she wants, she will face consequences.

Simple. Right?


At my last critique group meeting, I felt as if I lose the ability to create motivation for the most rudimentary of stories. I will now practice writing character motivations without a net in three sentences.

Pink Promise
I promised to buy my ill little sister a rare pink gecko, but I'm stuck in detention and the pet-store will sell the gecko at five o'clock to a greedy customer. It's my own fault I'm in detention and if I don't get that gecko, my sister will see me for the promise-breaker I always am. 
Who doesn't like pink geckos? 
Purple Majesty
She wakes up with purple hair the day before the senior prom. All her efforts to remove the purple from her hair end in disaster-a wig spontaneously dissolves-and the school has banned the color purple from the prom due to a bullying incident. If she doesn't attend the prom, her best friend will fall in love with a creep that will ruin her life. 
I thought it was funny.

Contemporary, coming of age. 
Fist Heart
He's a cynical senior madly in love with a junior girl who's in love with a drop-out punk. The punk threatens to harm my best friend. If the senior intervenes, he risks losing the girl or his best friend.
Holy unrequited, Batman! What now?

This exercise seems easy enough. Now why the hell can't I get it to work on manuscripts in progress.


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