Thanks, Mia. I brought chocolate because the last time I showed up there was nothing here to munch on. Nada. Not a crumb of cheese or even a cracker. And it also sort of helps with our topic of the day: Motivation.
In life, we're motivated to perform actions. Some things are fairly simple, like consuming that bit of chocolate now melting in your greedy fingers. You didn't need much motivation to eat it. It's tasty, it's melting, AND it was free (it's really good chocolate, too!) So why not eat the chocolate? Bacon is another low-motivation food. Shoe shopping on someone else's dime...sure! Take this lotto ticket? Why, thanks!
But unfortunately...life is not that easy. Nor should your characters have it that easy when it comes to romance. It would make for a boring book to just have Ed and Mia meet and fall in love. They need some challenges to get in their way to prove their love and make them motivated to overcome their conflict to be together!
Some things are a little harder to motivate, like dragging my fat butt off the chaise lounge, away from the hunks feeding me said chocolate to go work out at the gym. Blech. But if I want a MILF body and to be healthy, I need to do this. That's my motivation to hit the gym. Of course, telling me Mr. Hottie who looks like Matthew Fox sans tattoos will be there increases the motivation. Win/win on that one.
Let's take our chocolate scenario one step further to show a different form of motivation. What if Mia over there ::pointing:: is allergic to chocolate? Yeah, that's a tragedy, and it makes it hard for us to motivate a reason for her to eat it if she's our heroine. Maybe her motivation to eating it is to spark an allergic reaction that will draw the evil dragon's attention away from the dashing hero, Gregor, who needs to escape NOW or he'll die. WAH! Of course she'll eat the deadly chocolate.
Mia's decision to eat the chocolate also sparks some conflict--what if the hero's clumsy fingers can't work the epi-pen or he has to scale the castle wall to call 911? That could spell trouble. But her motivation to eat the chocolate could be justified if it saves her darling Gregor from certain incineration.
Each scene you write should be motivated. If the Mia, our princess heroine, has said, "No, I am not dating Ed the horse poop cleaner. Period. I'm going to call Gregor, the dashing knight." Then there had better be some solid motivation behind Mia suddenly picking up the castle phone and calling Ed for a date instead of the dashing Gregor. Maybe Mia discovers Ed knows a secret about a dragon in a far away cave that Gregor wants to kill... A little smoochy smoochy and maybe Ed will spill all, so Gregor can be famous, win the king's vote of approval and Mia can get hitched. That's a great plan. That's motivation to pick up the phone.
You may find, though, that the reasons for motivation may change given the conflict at hand. Perhaps our heroine, Mia, is in the dragon's cave and suddenly realizes THE DRAGON is the hero! What if the dragon is none other than Ed, our lowly horse poop cleaner she's come to know and love, a shifter prince trying to save her from the real villain? Gregor isn't trying to save her. He's actually next in line to the throne, so he wants to kill her AND the dragon. Now, her motivation changes. She's not going to eat the chocolate. Maybe she'll pick up a sword and run Gregor through, race to the dragon, kiss him and he morphs into Ed, who underneath the straw and horse stench is the most handsome, kick-ass prince anyone has ever envisioned. Yeah. That's motivation.
Questions? Comments? I'll be around to answer them about motivation or about any publishing question you may have!
Thanks for having me!
Trish Owens, Editor.
~*~I hope you all enjoyed that look into motivation! Next time we'll cover either goal or conflict, depending on what Trish decides! Thank you to Trish Owens for taking time out of her busy schedule to blog for us. Just a heads up, if you're looking for a freelance editor, she does edit for a limited amount of Indie authors. My email is on the sidebar, I'll put you in touch with her.
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