How do you guys give your characters motivations?
This is something I struggle with (partly because I'm not a very motivated person myself personally). I always feel like the classic motivations are trite; revenge, jealousy, social status.... I don't really feel a lot of these things personally (at least not strongly) so I struggle imbuing my characters with good, strong motivations that drive them to act.
Anyone have any ideas, suggestions, or similar struggles?
...give them complex motivations? Multiple things? As a most basic example; wanting to be good people but also struggling to provide for their family when legal means aren't enough? This isn't complicated.
all motivations are trite. Power, sex, safety.
Every scene is a fight, a negotiation, a seduction, or a combination thereof.
What's hamlet about? Young prince struggling with his consciense after his uncle murders his father. Pretty simple, pretty straightforward. Trite? Don't disservice yourself by thinking of it in those terms.
Humbert Humbert's motivation? Sex. Jerry Lundegaard? Money.
Simple motivations can make for great stories. Quit making excuses for yourself.
Maybe you should find the motivation first and then find a character to enact it. Are you starting your story by coming up with a bunch of characters, giving them motivations and styles, then coming up with a story they would all work well in? I feel like that's probably the cart driving the horse. Without a specific plot or at least some idea of story the characters will just stand around being themselves. Then you've got a character book without any real substance. Make sure those people have something to do before you conjure them up.
Trite and profound are often confused, and I have trouble understanding why. It's deeply profound, I think, to have a deeply self-contradictory character whose base motivation is, at the end of the day, raw power.
>Then you've got a character book without any real substance.
Hey fuck you. Don't tell me you're not fed up with a character that has a seemingly impossible goal to strive towards. 2016: story is stupid. I said it.
Lots of /lit/s darling books don't have a story.
If you have a good story, motivations should be natural. The story itself is sort of just the physical manifestation of your characters motivations, after all.
If you're writing, "Uh....it's a story about a young guy who is uh...kind of unsure in life and he spends a lot of time at a coffee shop/book store thinking about philosophy," Then yeah, no shit it's hard to find a motivation in that.
No Longer Human
Journey to end of night
Streets of Crocodiles (an old one)
Off top of my head. I'll concede you could find mini stories, episodes in these but to say they're each one big story in the traditional sense would be incorrect.
Ok, except, those all have storeis. Post office especially.
Things happen in those stories, characters are moving from one place to the next with at least a sort of purpose. Maybe it doesn't meet your faggot, aspie version of a story, but you're wrong.
yeah, some books are just character studies, which is fine, but I think they wear out pretty fast if the character isn't evolving...in which case the evolution of the character would be the story...but usually there is some force moving them to change. blah blah.