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No Reason.

Forums Fiction Characters No Reason.

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  • #43340
    Macey Bourque
    @fawxofthecomics

    Hi.¬† So, I’ve got a book where the main character, Ian, goes on a quest to save his parents friend. Jordan (the friend) has been trapped in the magic realm in the form of a dragon for 25 years when Ian learns about him secretly. His parents can’t return to help him and Ian doesn’t know him personally. He has no reason to go on the quest to save Jordan other than to save him. Any motivation ideas?

    In the words of Podo Helmer, "TOOOTHY COOOOW!!!"
    An elvish warrior who sits in the trees drawing.

    #43367
    Aimie
    @ajaj2000

    @fawxofthecomics

    Hey, Fawx ūüôā

    One thing I’ve learned about character motivation is that there’s something valuable (and/or personal) at stake if the main character doesn’t complete¬†the quest. So may I ask some questions to understand what you’re trying to tell? ūüôā

    How do Ian’s parents deal with the fate of their friend? Are they sad everytime they’re reminded of him?

    What is Ian relationship with his parents? If he feels he can never please them (likely a character lie) he could go on the quest to make them happy (regardless if they want him to or not)

    What’s Ian’s character lie? (A character lie is something the character believes that negatively¬†affects his/her life) If you have one, question how that could be tied¬†into the quest.

    Is anything outside of the parents’ and friend’s lives at stake? The world?

    Why did things turn out that way for Jordan? Did someone curse him? If so how does it feel towards Jordan’s friends?

    Not all motivations have to be just, does Ian have a character flaw that makes him want to selfishly rescue Jordan?

    #43371
    Steward of the Pen
    @steward-of-the-pen

    @fawxofthecomics

    Like @ajaj200 touched on, motivations come from what a character values. They also come from the character’s fears—maybe fear for their life, of losing someone or something, or even of boredom. Few things shape a character as much as their fears do. Fears can cause them to act falsely. They can cause them to run away when they should have fought. They can cause them to say things they don’t mean.

    Before you decide what Ian’s motivation is, think, what’s his greatest fear? What does he want the most? What does he love the most? If what he values most is his parents, maybe he’ll go looking for Jordan to make them happy. If his greatest desire is for his parents to be proud of him, maybe he goes to rescue Jordan to prove himself. If he fears boredom, maybe he goes just because he wants an adventure. Or maybe he goes because for some reason Jordan’s situation puts him, his parents, or someone/something else he cares about in danger. And again, the reason he goes doesn’t have to be an honorable motivation.

    Think of Tom from The Great Brain. He did amazing things. He helped a new kid fit in at school. He encouraged someone who thought he was useless and showed him how he could be useful. He rescued people. But his motivations? They were always selfish. He only did something after he figured out what he could gain from it.

    So take some time to analyze and develop his character, then dive deep into his heart and discover what drives him forward and what holds him back. And have fun! Creating characters and their motivations is one of my favorite parts of writing.

    #43384
    Macey Bourque
    @fawxofthecomics

    Thanks for responding!

    Ian’s parents, Semona and Marco, are very upset for Jordan and really sad whenever he comes up in conversation or otherwise.

    Ian’s parents love him and his sister very much, so pleasing them wasn’t a very good option.

    I don’t know about his character lie, so I’ll try to describe him. Ian is a kinda grumpy, smart kid who takes things seriously. He lives with a very smart younger sister.

    The Human world is completely safe, but the Elves are beginning to become a threat in the Magic Realm, but Ian doesn’t know that until he is kidnapped.

    Jordan was selfish and was turned into a dragon because he stole a treasure, the Gem of Dragons. He stole it because his family was poor, and thought that his friends didn’t need it as much as he did.

    Ian doesn’t know Jordan personally, only from the few parts of stories his mother told him. He later finds a few pictures of Jordan with his parents when they were young, and that’s essentially it.

    In the words of Podo Helmer, "TOOOTHY COOOOW!!!"
    An elvish warrior who sits in the trees drawing.

    #43430
    Aimie
    @ajaj2000

    @fawxofthecomics

    You said Ian was kidnapped?

    I think that may be a good start to questioning, maybe he thinks Jordan can help him?

    #43437
    Catherine Roche
    @writercatherine

    @fawxofthecomics You might find this article helpful: https://storyembers.org/how-to-make-a-character-come-alive/ It was very useful to me in learning about character motivations.

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - For the greater glory of God
    Catholic, student, bookdragon

    #43469
    Macey Bourque
    @fawxofthecomics

    Wow, thanks guys. You’ve really helped me! Still figuring out exactly what Ian needs, but I feel like I’ve been shown the right direction.

    In the words of Podo Helmer, "TOOOTHY COOOOW!!!"
    An elvish warrior who sits in the trees drawing.

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