Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday's Inspiration - Ray Bradbury

"First find what your hero wants, then follow him." Ray Bradbury

When I read this quote, thoughts collected. What does the hero want can extend to what every character in a book wants, especially if you write books with a number of main characters. Ensemble books bring more than one character to the fore of the story. And each of these characters wants something. Sometimes these desires mesh and sometimes they act in opposition. But I've found the characters desires often drive my stories in new and interesting ways.

But I've found what really drives the stories is what the characters want. Sometimes my characters tell me they want something but it turns out that isn't exactly what they want. Often discovering their real want takes several drafts or more to realize what the character really wants. Atleast it's that way for me. There are some writers who know this from the beginning and I kind of envy them but that's not my way of doing things.

In my current WIP, the hero starts out wanting to remain as a Defender and he faces being banished. But he has made promises to his dying father. Is that what he really wants? I'm still not sure. Also the heroine starts out wanting to escape duels. She wants to be a healer. As the story progresses her goals are changing. One day her real want will come into view and the story will completely click.

I never have problems with the goals of the villains. Their desire is always to win. Often the bad guys in my stories come alive sooner than the other characters. This doesn't mean they're one dimensional but what they want is simpler.

What about you? Do your heros, heroines and villains know exactly what they want when you start the story? Do you have to spend time with them before you really know what they want?

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