Thursday, February 11, 2010

Writer Basics: Motivation

Yesterday we talked about the Goals part of GMC. Today we're going to discuss Motivation.

What is Motivation?
Motivation = Why these goals are so important.

For our firefighter hero, becoming the best firefighter is important because he wants to prove his disparaging father wrong. He wants his father's respect. He wants his father to see him as a man and a peer, not a rebel kid with a dinged up past.

For a man, a father's respect can be a great motivator. I'm sure you can think of someone you know with a less than great relationship with their father. How does it color their decisions? Can you think of something they've done because of that relationship? That's motivation.

What about our heroine? Her desire to uncover corruption in the local fire department is spurred on by her goal of becoming a field reporter, not just the obits writer. But let's dig deeper into her motivation. Why does she want this? Maybe she's been compared to her sister all her life and her sister is happily married, with 2.5 kids, a great husband and a white picket fence. Our heroine can't compete with that because she's never had a successful relationship, but she can become a success in the business world. Making a name for herself with the corrupt story would certainly get her some time in the spotlight, wouldn't it?

What motivates your characters? Tomorrow, conflict!

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