08
Mar
11

Dig a little deeper

This month I decided to take a on-line class The Essentials of Character, by Bob Mayer, and I’m loving it.  The course is making me “dig a little deeper” into my characters, and let me tell you, it’s not for the weak at heart. I’ve heard similar ideas over the years, but at this stage in my writing journey, what Bob stated is sinking in at a whole new level.

Goals and Motivations. What does it mean to your characters and do they follow their motivations to the goals of the plot the right way?  Do you as the author really know what your character wants and needs? Well, three little sentences have danced through my consciousness and sub-conscious  for the last few days.  I’ve racked my brain over them, trying to dig a little deeper and I’m conflicted on the last  question.

  1. What does your character want?
  2. What does your character really want?
  3. No, what does your character REALLY need?

My darling daughter watched this movie this weekend, and at her age typically, I try to block out the movies. Last week was Miss Congeniality and this week it was Princess and the Frog. As a side note, a few weeks ago, I was at CNYRW listening to Jenni Holbrook speak about a similar topic, internal and external conflict and making it work.  She used  Miss Congeniality as examples of how it works.  It was brilliant.  On some cosmic level, my daughter’s movie choices had me focusing on writing more than entertainment.

So I was in front of my laptop, struggling to get my head around what does my protagonist really really need. Then this song came on, I ran to watch the movie, grabbed the remote (much to my daughter’s complaints) and played the part again.

It doesn’t show you how to write your character’s motivation or goals, but it helped me shine a light on how to find what my characters really really need. So I’m asking myself, Miss Froggy, do ya understand what you need now? I believe I do and now I need to put my fingers to the keyboard and get it typed before I forget it. 🙂

Happy typing.

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2 Responses to “Dig a little deeper”


  1. March 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I really want to get better at digging deeper into my characters motivation. Maybe I’ll look into one of Bob’s online classes in the near future. Heaven knows, I can use all the help I can get 🙂

    -Rita

    • 2 DD
      March 9, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      It has made my mind spin, but have to say I met up with Lori today and we worked on meshing several ideas together and wow. It popped. At CNYRW, they had a plotting round table. One member mentioned Characters Bios in First person to get a better sense of their goal, motivation and conflict. Well, I did the bios then worked on What they really really needed, can I say wow… and no breaking out in hives. 🙂 I think you would like Bob’s on-line classes because no only do you get the information, but you are there with others attributing.


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