CHARACTER AMBITION

Last post I mentioned that there’s a karate master named Huino who works as the delivery guy of a pizza shop, and he is terrible at maintaining stable relationships. What we need to do is draw the reader in a little more with the story so that the reader will be enticed by Huino.

Let’s give Huino some ambition. Some kind of goal to achieve. Something in his personal life that motivates him from day to day. Keep in mind that one type of motivation can be no motivation at all. This happens in Dodge Ball with Owen Wilson. He is a  loser of losers, and he even says this: “I found that if I don’t have any goals, then I won’t ever be disappointed if I never achieve them.” Hilarious right?

What is always exciting for a reader is to see that a character has a drive, but then the story that is told about that character pushes the character towards his ultimate goal, while revealing something even deeper. This is obviously referring to stories where the protag doesn’t fail. The motivation is equally important in tragedies where the protag does fail.

Back to Huino. We will give him the drive of working as the delivery guy of a pizza shop so that he can take care of his mother who is overseas. She wants to come to America to get away from the genocide in her home country. She sent Huino to America with her brother (his uncle) so that he would not have to live in those conditions. He hasn’t seen his mother in twenty-seven years even though he gets letters from her from time to time. He works as a pizza man so that he can send money to her to keep her healthy.

You find out that the reason he can’t keep relationships is because he always has a fear that he will have to go home to take care of his mom, and any relationship that he forms has the threat of being torn away from him in a moment if he ever has to leave to go her.

Ok. Now Huino, the pizza man, martial artist has just gotten a little more interesting. All of his motivations give us a ground for a plot which we can base off of his motivations. So watch this. And, by the way, I’m making this up as I go. This shows you how important it is to develop a character fully so that your plot can come from that character’s ambitions.

Plot: Huino is slowly falling in love with a woman, and he is nervous about it because he knows that if things get too serious, he may have to leave the country to fend for his mom. He has not heard from his mother in over three months which is unusual because she tries to connect with him at least once every few weeks. He goes to the mailbox, and in it is a tattered envelope with red streaks that look like blood stains. His mother’s name isn’t on the letter, but he can tell from the postage that it was sent from his home country.

When he opens the letter, it’s worse than what he imagined. The letter is from a cousin of his, and not only has his mom been taken by the rebels, but they threaten to kill her if he doesn’t come back home and pay them a ransom.

This could make for an interesting plot just based solely on the character’s motivations.

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