Recently, I wrote about my commitment to studying and learning about plot structure. In addition, I've been thinking a lot about character motivation.
In this blog, I learned some simple ways to begin studying plot and characters. One of the suggestions is to watch movies and read books, looking for something in the story, whether it be the inciting event, the climax, or something else. You're supposed to look for one or two things. Along with using post-its for the books I read, marking the important bench marks in the story, I've been asking questions about motivation.
I think it's been driving hubby crazy. For example, the other day we went to his parents house and watched It Takes Two. You know, the Mary Kay and Ashley Olsen flick, back when they were young and innocent. I hadn't seen it in years! I kept asking questions like: Why does the evil fiancé want to have the wedding in one day? She's waited this long to court the billionaire, why is a month so long for her now?
Together, he and decided that the evil fiancé saw Roger with Dianne and knew that it was true love, too! She was scared that she'd get dumped for true love.
Then, when she told one of the Olsen twins, "I know exactly what you're trying to do! My father remarried three times, and each time I tried to get rid of my stepmother. I wanted my Dad's attention, too..." I wondered--- then why are you so mean to her? If you were in the same situation, why are you doing this?
Questions like these, I think, are good. Sometimes I can figure out answers, but sometimes I can't, and that's okay.
The best thing about doing this is that I've started questioning motivation in my own characters.