Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"That's Wonderful, Darling, But What's My Motivation?"

     That's the question I was asked the other day by one of my characters. The story he's in is still in its early planning stages. I've got the two main characters identified, and I know what they are doing. The problem is, with one of them, I don't know why he's doing what he's doing. With the other, it's relatively easy- he's doing  things that are consistent with who he is, for the most part. With this one, he is doing things that are not what you would expect from this type of character. I know what he's doing, I just don't know why. And the why is the thing.

     Motivation is one of the key things a writer needs to know about her characters. Because without motivation, there is no reason for the events that happen in the story. Just as we all have our reasons for doing the things we do, so must our characters, if they are to be believable. And it is especially important for those who do things outside of their normal actions. Readers won't believe in a character who is acting outside his normal boundaries without any reason for doing so.

     And so, yes, darling, we will figure out why you are who you are. I'll give you your motivation. Just let me think about it for a little while, okay?

     In other news, it got cold again! I spent part of Monday out in the garden, cleaning up, digging in compost, and getting the cool weather plant bed ready to be seeded. And then, I wake up Tuesday, intending to test the irrigation system, and plant the bed, but it is cold out there again. And windy, which made it worse. So, no garden work got done.I've been leaving the door open so some fresh air gets in the house, and I was thinking about opening a few windows. But not now.  I want my warm weather back, please.

     Easter was a nice family day. Jill, John, and Carter came for dinner, as did Krysta, Kleber, and Will. The BaldMan cured and smoked a ham, and grilled a lamb roast. We also had German potato salad, blood orange glazed carrots, and asparagus with Hollandaise sauce. I made Williamsburg Orange Cake for dessert. I made it as cupcakes, instead of a full cake, because Krysta is mildly allergic to walnuts. With cupcakes, I could put nuts in some and leave some without. I haven't made that cake in years, mostly because we really don't do dessert a lot. I originally got the recipe from my old Betty Crocker cookbook. It was the first cookbook I owned, and has since fallen apart. I did save our favorite recipes from it, though.

    I'll close with a few pictures from Easter dinner:

That's me, Stephanie, and William

John, Jill, and Carter

Stephanie, Will, Krysta, Kleber, and John

And lots of food! It was a good day.

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