I’ve been thinking recently about motivations. Of characters, in particular. Before they can do something, say something, think something, there must be a reason why. Otherwise, they wouldn’t do it, say it, or even think it. The reason gives the impetus for the motion.
*My* reason for such thoughts? I’ve been toying with the idea of writing crime / mystery. It’s always intrigued me, but my initial opinion is that I’d be absolutely hopeless at it. Not because I don’t like the genre – I do! – but because my only experience of criminal or mysterious activities has been vicarious; as in, through books, TV shows, movies. And I’m the first to admit a feeling of being overwhelmed at the thought of writing about something I haven’t experienced! Because although yes, I *do* have a good imagination, I think that to write crime / mystery well, there needs to be more than that. And I don’t know if I have that in me.
Do I think that I’m such an amazing person that I’ve never done a criminal act? Never participated in a cover up? Never had anything to feel guilty about? Of course not. But is the depth of my knowledge enough to write well about? I doubt it. And therein lies my problem. My dilemma. My conclusion that it’s all about the motivation.
Because when it comes down to it, I feel like I can’t identify with my criminal character. What’s their motivation for their crime? Is it greed? Selfishness? Pride? Can’t each of these be explained away to some degree, by an analysis of the character’s background / upbringing? And if they can, then are these acts really ‘criminal’ ones, or just the reasonable outcome of their past experiences? When does a ‘crime’ become a crime? Is an understanding of the criminal’s motivations enough to excuse their actions? To forgive? Or is that something else entirely – an action that occurs on the part of the victim or the observer?
Anyway, I just thought I’d share my thoughts with you this morning. And my *reason*? Well, because I can. If you feel like responding, dear reader, I’d be ecstatic – perhaps I’m not just typing words into a vaccuum like I so often think that I am. So yes, dear reader – what’s your reason for doing things?