All posts tagged: writing techniques

Thoughts on Motivation

I thought we might talk a little about motivation. You know that thing that actors are always asking? “What’s my motivation?” That. I was recently watching a movie (it will remain nameless but it rhymes with Gorilla) where the primary motivation for the majority of characters was “what will advance the plot to the next action scene?” The characters had no other plausible motivation. They made decisions that seemed to be based solely on what the director needed, not what was internally consistent for their own histories and personalities. Self-interest wasn’t invited to the party: they performed actions which made zero sense from their own personal narratives but which did lead to awesome giant monster scenes. Needless to say, I wasn’t very impressed. Actually, I was flabberghasted. Why am I talking about this as a writer? Because this happens with books too. Let’s discuss. There is a meta-level motivation for anything that happens in a book, and it’s usually (although not always) ‘to advance the story.’ Why did the villain kill the hero’s brother? (So …