by Eldred “Bob” Bird
My characters are my children. I create them, nurture them, and help them grow. I also abuse them, annoy them, and torture them. I’m a writer—it’s my job.
If I’ve done my job well, by the end of the story the main character will have gone through the fires of hell and come out the other side a changed, more well-rounded individual. That’s the hope anyway.
But you’ve probably heard it said that for someone to profoundly change, they must want to change, and therein lies the rub. People—including our characters—need a reason to step out of their comfort zone and make deep, lasting changes. As writers it’s our job to push our characters out the door and slam it behind them, giving them no choice but to move forward.
So, how do we accomplish this task? We must answer the question our characters ask every time we try to get them to step up:
“What’s my motivation?”
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