Monday, 14 March 2011


It's so obvious I wonder that it didn't occur to me earlier. Or, it did occur to me, but I thought it wasn't important. It is.

Characters need  reasons for doing what they do (apparently). Especially if they've decided to do something that might unravel reality. Or destroy civilization. It took me a lot of time and pain to come to this realisation. Insufficient motivation is a huge problem for plot, and I had it in spades.

In life, people start with the reason that impels them to do what they do. When I was writing it ended up the other way round. I thought - what would be really cool here is a city made of flesh and characters getting shot at and one of them gets killed (in a children's novel!!!!) and they should phase through furniture in slow motion!!!! And the apocalypse should happen backwards!!!!

I had about a hundred four-exclamation-mark ideas for this novel, and barely one reason why. Putting the motivation into the novel meant smashing up every polished four-exclamation-mark scene I had, and a lot of four letter words.

No comments:

Post a Comment