Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wizardry Writing Wednesdays # 5 - Motivating Characters

Hello again young scribes. Wiz. Lexiconi here to talk more about developing characters.


Just like us, without being motivated to do something, we would spend our days as couch potatoes. However, whether you like it or not, you get up every morning for school, spurred by the fact that you need an education. You work or do chores, especially if there is money involved. You practice and play hard at sports with the incentive that you might win a championship.

But that's not good enough for a storybook character. The stakes need to be higher.

Sometimes, it's a life or death situation your character needs to be up against, but not always. However, whatever the is motivation that drives you character, the consequences of not getting it need to be substantial.

Wilber, in Charlotte's web faced certain death if he and his friends didn't find a solution to save him.

Harry in Harry Potter had to face the evilest wizard ever to save himself and his friends. He was willing to sacrifice himself for his friends.

Wendy in Peter Pan didn't wish to grow up, but eventually accepted the fact that it had to happen.

Dorthy in The Wizard of Oz followed the yellow brick road into danger just so she could get back home.

Each hero had something they wanted more than anything which drove their actions and made the story interesting.

Here's your assignment: Get out your quills and parchment and copy the following paragraph, making sure to fill in the words in parenthesis with information from your own story.

Somebody (your character's name) wanted (what do they want more than anything else?), but (what is the biggest hurdle or obstacle that gets in their way?). So, (what is character's plan B? That thing they do to overcome the obstacle?), then (what is the outcome of that plan b?)

Again, it goes like this:
SOMEBODY
WANTED
BUT
SO
THEN

This is the gist of your story, the main idea of what your story will be about.

Please feel free to share what you came up with if it pleases you.
Return next week for more about character motivation. Remember, your villain also has to have a motivation. Try filling in the blanks for all your characters and see what kind of story frame you begin to come up with. Soon, we'll be moving on to plot and structuring your story.

Who is thinking about taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge? It starts tomorrow and it's not too late to sign up.

Let your imagination weave some wacky tales. 
Wiz. Lexiconi, Sr. Mage 1st class: Fabulist extraordinaire

No comments: