What Drives a Character?

I’ve been working hard on my next book. I’ve got the outline and the characters defined. Writing the story each day for the last week, I’ve realized how much I enjoy writing. When I am excited about a story, I can write quickly. It all flows.

In many ways, when a story is flowing well for me, it helps me stay motivated in other parts of my life. A protagonist in a good story also needs that motivation. A good story will drive them to really understand who they are. By the end of the book or story, they are acting more than being acted upon. They learn about their inner motivation and that drives them to action.

Life is a little more complex than a good book. I say that because a good book or story builds to a climax where everything settles out, but life doesn’t have that nice denouement. It would be awesome if we spent our time building to one main goal where success means we can relax. That hasn’t been the case with my life. Just when I think I can handle a challenge, something different comes along.

Because of that, I find myself diving into good books, both to read and write. As I worked through character descriptions for my current project, I spent a lot of time thinking about what motivates a character and whether they knew their own motivation. It seems everyone does things because of past experiences. Sometimes, we may not even realize which of those experiences makes us act the way we do. I think that is key in a good book and in life. There are things we, or a character, do whose motivations aren’t clear unless they are forced to face them.

When I feel worn down, taking time to read and write science fiction or fantasy helps, even if only in small ways.

Check out some of my books.

Malignance, my third book in my time travel series that began with Resonance and Dissonance, is on Amazon as a kindle and a paperback. That was a fun series to write, and for now, it is completed. I have also placed all three books from that series into one volume titled The Machina of Time.

My fantasy, A Map, a Mage, and a Sacrifice, was a fun book to write. It is set in a world with limited technology, but where sacrifice is a necessary element to magical power. The greater the pain and suffering, the greater the magical power generated. The few mages in power use voluntary sacrifice of the citizens to generate power they use to protect and defend the empire. But their rule may be coming to a close.

If you’re looking for a science fiction story, try my book The Promise of Dust, which takes place in a cloud city floating in the atmosphere of Venus. Or Progenitor’s Legacy: Deceit, which takes place many years in the future on a tidally locked world that orbits a red dwarf and has been reached by humanity in their search for the alien progenitors who seeded the galaxy with nano machines.

If a young adult science fiction is more to your liking, check out my series This New Earth, that starts with Demons of a Dead World and Secrets of a Dead World.

If you are looking for a young adult fantasy, check out my book The Threads Unbound.

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