Hi, all my faithful friends and followers. I see my email list is growing (slightly, ha ha). Welcome to all of you.

Today, I'm going to talk (type) a bit more about Dean Koontz's recommendations, that being "clear, believable motivations."

I mean, if the motivations ain't clear, who cares? I think motivations are closely related to plot. They are what carry the story, but they also need to be believable.

So, how do you do that? In my novel "Bridgetown High," Mark's motivations are obvious. In Chapeter 1, page 1, he is viewing his family in their closed coffins and the longer he looks, the more angry he becomes, until at the end of the chapter he vows revenge against the person who killed them. Pretty clear? He's got a motive.

I've read some wannabe writers who just didn't have the motivations. It was more like reading a travelog. As the story went along, the motivations came but still a bit fuzzy.

To make my characters' motivations believable I use logic. I'm a stickler for logic. When beginning a story, I ask myself, why would each character think or act the way they do? And, yes. Each and every character needs a motive. Even minor characters can have a motive, though all the main characters NEED to have a motive, including the antagonist. In my novel it's Jeff (if you have read it you'll know what I mean).  Jeff has his motives too. He is from the poor side of town, falls in love with a beautiful girl, Genie, and hates Mark for stealing her away, though he doesn't understand why she would go with Mark instead of him. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but know there's motivation there.

Work on it. This will be your assignment for the coming week. I want you all to report back and let me know how you are including motives and how motive is helping round out your characterization as well as growing the plot.

In the meantime, if you are finding these little teaching sessions helpful (or not), please "Share" and "Like" this blog post on Facebook , and "Re-tweet" it on Twitter yet. Also have you signed up for my email letters on my Blog Site? This will help greatly with the sales (and I need your help here).

I would love to see you there and have you introduce yourself and give comments to my posts. Also keep in mind "Bridgetown High" is still available on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes&Noble and a few other places I can't remember, and for this week only, it's on sale for $0.99 for the electronic copy. Also, you can read some GREAT reviews of Bridgetown High on all of these sites, but especially Amazon and Goodreads.
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About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Thursday, June 30, 2016

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