What’s my (character) motivation? NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo: Day 4

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,691

Today’s blog count: 4

Total words written: 8,463

Total blog posts: 4


Happy Voting Day! Here in the United States, it’s Voting Day. This is considered Midterm Elections, being that it occurs midway through the presidential term. It also tends to be a period of low voter turnout, because most people don’t see midterms as important as the presidential election.  But since political figures who impact our lives on a more day-to-day basis tend to be elected during midterms, they are as important, if not more, than a presidential election. So if you haven’t voted, please do so if your polls are still open. I don’t care who you vote for–just vote. People died so that you could.

Okay, that’s my public service announcement (PSA) for today. 😀 Back to the matter at hand: NaNoWriMo!

My writing today involved character motivation. I know why my protagonist does what she does, and that’s pretty obvious. What wasn’t obvious was that of my protagonist (or anti-hero: haven’t decided which he will be yet). When I put it on paper today, it made things a lot clearer and gave me some additional options for furthering the plot.

It’s always important to make your character’s motivation clear. It helps you, as a writer, get your plot right; and it helps your readers engage with the book. If your readers don’t get why a character is doing something, the plot falls flat, they don’t like the book, and they don’t buy the book. Which is not good.

Your character’s motivation doesn’t even have to be all that deep or psychological. For example, you could have a character that likes to beat people up. A deep motivation could be that he was abused as a child, and lashes out as a result, and any myriad reasons that could be found in the DSM-V Manual. Or, he could simply like to inflict pain. Everything doesn’t have to be an ocean; it’s more fun to splash in a puddle. 😀

Because I am writing a medical thriller, I think of the two best examples of medical writing in the past few decades: Robin Cook, and the late Michael Crichton. Cook wrote the seminal medical thriller with his first book, Coma (which was made into a movie) and wrote dozens more.  Crichton was the creative and writing force behind this little medical show. Maybe you’ve heard of it: it was called ER. 😀  He also wrote this movie and book called Jurassic Park, as well as the cool medical thrillers A Case of Need and The Andromeda Strain.

Anyway, I hope that you are making progress on your writing, or blog, or both. Keep on truckin’!

Thanks for stopping by.


From the back to the middle & around again (NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo: Day 3)

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,828

Today’s blog count: 3

Total words written: 6,772

Total blog posts: 3

Today, I barely got in my designated word count: after walking almost seven miles (I’d been slacking on my exercise lately) and a glass of wine with dinner after a long, hot, shower, I had to really push myself to get my writing in today. Or rather, to get it down on paper/screen/keyboard.

[sidebar: when I do these videos, they are no filter: this is how I look when I am writing at home, and more appropriate for the nature of NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo. I am not glamorous during the writing process. Thanks in advance for your cooperation. :D]

Today was a patchwork kind of writing day: I was all over the plot. I wrote some of the end, some of the middle, some of the beginning–a new beginning, since my old beginning was the prologue, and is now chapter one. It was a bit disconcerting, jumping around like that, because I’m a pretty linear person: from point A to point B to point C. But if there is one thing that I’ve learned in the years of doing NaNoWriMo and also writing in general, is that you don’t have to write the book in a linear fashion from start to finish. It’s okay to write the beginning, or start in the middle, write some of the end, jump back to the end of the beginning or the beginning of the middle (or the beginning of the end). You will have a chance to knit all of the edges together into a cohesive novel when you do your rewrites. And you will rewrite it, more than once (I usually do 2-3, and sometimes four, drafts per book), if you are serious about your writing.

Still, I made pretty good progress; as always, there is the caveat of seeing how the rest of the month will progress as well. I made notes on where I want the plot to go next, which will be interesting.

I’m tired from my long exercise excursion today, and the wine didn’t help; I may nod off during tonight’s basketball game like I did last night (shoutout to the NBA League Pass archives!). I hope you all are making progress on your books, or blogs, or both.

Thanks for stopping by.