marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

purposes and motives

One advantage of hunting around for deeper motives (which I rambled about here) is that having given your character motives for their purposes, you can then utterly deny them their purpose and see what happens next.  I find it works best in the opening or even in the backstory.  Jack wants to steal the Eye of the Night to get revenge for his father's having been framed and killed to keep him quiet about the jewel.  And in the first chapter, the noble has the Eye of Night crushed into diamond dust for magical purposes. . . .

Poking at a story that starts like this:  the heroine wants to prove her father's innocence and discovers in the opening scene, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he's guilty.

Heroes can be interesting, 'cause they tend to flounder around for a bit.  (And keeping in mind the bottom desire on Maslow's pyramid -- survival! -- can be the only thing keeping the story going.)  But then, having dug deeper, you know what they have to fulfill by some other means.

Villains, on the other hand, tend to be become pointlessly and futilely malicious at this point.  All set to revenge themselves on the universe that has set out to thwart them.  Can be tricky.  Especially when it's the backstory.  But having lost your heart's desire makes all sorts of nonsense on your part a consistent reaction..
Tags: characterization, complexity, heroes and villains, motives and purposes
Subscribe

  • The angel Gabriel from Heaven came

    The angel Gabriel from Heaven came, His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame; "All hail," said he, "thou lowly maiden Mary, Most…

  • Let all mortal flesh keep silence

    Let all mortal flesh keep silence, And with fear and trembling stand; Ponder nothing earthly minded, For with blessing in His hand, Christ our God to…

  • I heard the voice of Jesus say

    I heard the voice of Jesus say, "Come unto Me and rest; Lay down, thou weary one, lay down Thy head upon My breast." I came to Jesus as I…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 13 comments

  • The angel Gabriel from Heaven came

    The angel Gabriel from Heaven came, His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame; "All hail," said he, "thou lowly maiden Mary, Most…

  • Let all mortal flesh keep silence

    Let all mortal flesh keep silence, And with fear and trembling stand; Ponder nothing earthly minded, For with blessing in His hand, Christ our God to…

  • I heard the voice of Jesus say

    I heard the voice of Jesus say, "Come unto Me and rest; Lay down, thou weary one, lay down Thy head upon My breast." I came to Jesus as I…