On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Why did/didn't s/he do that? Motivation & Worldbuilding

First, sorry for not posting yesterday. The thing is I thought I had, but apparently saved it in draft and didn't post.

I've been reading a fantasy series that I've asked the question "Why doesn't she do this or that?" And from this experience, I think that the answer should come in the next few pages (because that might be only as long as a reader gives you) or be set up in the beginning.

This set up includes magic rules as well as motivations. There are "airy messengers" sorts of beings that would take messages or check on someone and when the party is divided they...don't. And, though I did read to the end, and will keep the series until my next big clean out (and one book I really, really liked, and have one book to go) I wasn't pleased and didn't believe the motivation for NOT sending these beings.

So, the author didn't set up the limitations of these beings, didn't explain why they weren't called SUFFICIENTLY well for me (lacked motivation), and especially told me why the other party didn't do the same with a GOOD ENOUGH REASON (lacked motivation) and waited to reveal motivation until the end of the book.

So, this irritated me, and it's something I try and keep in mind for my own work (and I think I'll keep a note to address it in the RWA worldbuilding brainstorming session).

Do you know that plastic keyboards squeak? Or maybe it's my floating tray, anyway that's all for now.

May your motivation and worldbuilding be deep and perfect today.


Blogger moonhart said...

I really understand this, Robin. I am such a stickler about motivation. People in my local RWA group roll their eyes when I start the "schpeal." I can't help it because it is the single quickest way to lose me as a reader.

So when some poorm, unsuspecting newbie asks me to critique something, I always tell them upfront that I am a bit of a bulldog with motivation. And, FWIW, I try to keep that in mind in my own writing.


2:29 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Well, a person can always try, and always hope to nail motivation, but sometimes I doubt.

Good for you!

12:26 AM  

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