Sad state of affairs on the way to school this morning. A possum lie dead, just inches from the green shroud of safety on the other side of the road. His would-be pursuer, a racoon, lay dead, just inches behind him. Both will be mourned by the twelve year old girl riding in the car.
Anyway- it started me thinking (of course) about motivation and how our characters are driven to make the choices they do. So, what do you do when that's all they 'want' to do- sit around and go in circles? I literally watch my characters wander around, in a circle, accompishing nothing. It's one of my biggest aggrivators. Of course, I have a couple of suggestions, if you suffer from this same sad misfortune. Those of you with characters who do nothing boring and are interesting ALL the time, well, lucky you, tune in next week... lol. But for the rest of us~
1. Lists- Create a list of events that your character will star in- or conflicts they seem to have with other characters. Then, let your characters 'lead' you to that point in the story. It gives you goals in your writing, and keeps the characters on track. Mine would stop for a pastry and a coffee every chance they get, and never get anything done.
2. Use a writing program, such as Scrivener, to outline or plot some basics. I am a Scrivener fanatic- I love being able to create 'scene' titles and then write the scene, and move it around as needed. Sometimes I can just feel an argument coming on with a couple of characters, and this program let's them get it out, and allows me to get into down on 'paper'.
3. Observe life around you, and use it to your advantage. I find that morning radio is has a plethora of ideas just waiting to happen. One of my favorites is 'inappropriate Friday' - last week they were talking about inappropriate relatives, which gave me an idea for a character that will come into Tansy's adventure, and motivate her to get things done and get out of town- as quick as possible.
So, I know it's not a lot- but it may lead you to other ideas you may have when you are in need of some character motivation. I know I've got to keep Tansy out of the bakeries and out interacting and solving the mystery! If you have a motivational technique- please share in the comments! I know I can always use more tools in the old toolbox.
Oh, and P.S. I have a soft spot for animals- well, most of them. Possum's are on the list of 'not so much' but they did creep up a bit after reading a review of a book 'Possum Summer' by Jen K Blom. (If you like 'Where the Red Fern Grows' it's right up your alley.)