We all know that writers are generally a passionate bunch about something – a book they just read, the integrity of their work, literacy…you get the idea.
But what about your characters? Are they passionate about something?
My MC in my WIP is many things – she is resentful, annoyed, pissed off and deceitful. But after some discussion with the other lovely ladies of this blog, I realized she was missing a passion at something. She hasn’t really had a motivating factor to get somewhere, she just wants to not be where she is.
Some of the minor characters had the same problem.
So what’s the difference between progressing and being passionate? Look at real life. As you may have noticed, all of this blog’s contributors are educators in some capacity. We see students all the time who come to class and do the work to get the grade. Then, there are the students who dive into the subject matter, find how it relates in other aspects of their life outside the classroom. These students have a fire in their eyes toward what is being taught and are enthusiastic in their pursuit of knowledge.
Now apply that to some characters we love.
Harry Potter is excited to go to Hogwart’s, but school, studying and learning become a passion for him when he realizes what is at stake – the only family he’s ever known.
Indiana Jones is interested in finding the grail, but becomes motivated and passionate about it when he has to find it to save lives.
Jo March enjoys writing a story each night, but becomes passionate about it the more she realizes her need to figure out who and what she is.
I’m sure you can think of other characters, who just go through the motions of their plot until there is a reason to become passionate. And that is the point when they become endearing, hated, loved, despised, etc.
How have you made your characters passionate? What are some tricks you have learned when discovering a character may be flat/unmotivated?