marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

faction and motives

Ah, time for the faction sheet.

A useful sheet, like the character sheet, to help you keep track of what's going on.  There's nothing like multiplying the number of different things that characters want to make the story complex. (As long as you keep them clashing. It matters a lot less how strong the desires are than that they can't all get what they want. )

BUT -- there are always complications. The big one here being that most of the factions are not visible to the heroine.

You get a lot of advice about giving the villains motivations in how-to-write books, but in actual reality, you frequently don't know what people's motives are, and there's no reason why that's not a legitimate thing to do in fiction, especially given the many useful things it does, such as make mysteries more baffling. Excellent villains can be totally opaque.

BUT -- then if there are three or more schools of thought in the villains of this story, how will that come out? Above and beyond their different reactions to our heroine. And if only one faction tries to kill her, she doesn't know it's only one without good reason. Even if I have another faction save her life, how do I clue in the reader -- either with the heroine's knowledge or behind her back -- that it's another faction of the villains, and not general kindness, or merely a spiteful piece of factions in the court, not necessarily in the story.

And I have yet to think that breaking down the point of view to more characters would really work. sigh. We'll see.
Tags: conflict, faction, motives and purposes, point of view, writing technique

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