This week here on Wordwranglers, we're discussing motivation. At first, I didn't want to participate. I had another subject in mind. But then, I thought about what I wanted to talk about, and motivation was exactly it!
Some of you may not know that I've fallen in love with the TV show Justified. My daughter Brandi turned me onto it, and she and I watched the first two seasons non-stop, back-to-back. Then I started watching it again.
Don't read further if you don't want a spoiler alert.
I'm in lust, er love, with Raylan Givens, the lead character. He's a US Deputy Marshall who has been sent back to Harlan County, Kentucky because of a justified shooting of a drug dealer in Miami.
There's nothing about this man I don't love. Did I mention that?
He's a bad ass. He likes to shoot first and ask questions later. He's overcome a rotten childhood. Women love him.
I love him.
Okay, you're saying, what does all this love have to do with motivation?
There are two things the writers did that felt off to me.
One, they have Raylan falling in love with his ex-wife Winona again.
And two, they've made her pregnant at the end of Season Two.
Well, Raylan did.
What's wrong with that, you ask?
Brandi and I were discussing it, and his motivation is all wrong! He was with the beautiful, gun-toting, abusive-ex-shooting Ava. She was a good match for him in all ways. She isn't afraid, she's tough and she's gorgeous.
Winona is Milquetoast. She's all wrong. I don't buy for a minute that Raylan would be motivated to be with her again. Not over Ava.
And to make her pregnant?
This guy isn't a family man. He had a terrible childhood. He hates his father.
No motivation for him to make her pregnant, accident or not. In fact it seems to me he'd be motivated not to make a woman pregnant.
I still love Raylan, and I will keep watching, but I'm a little leery now. Are the writers going to mess with me again? Do, and I may quit watching.
And your reader may quit reading.
And this, my friends, is why motivation in our books is so important. The reader has to believe the motivation that drives the characters.