A Little Motivation

When writing a scene, it helps to know more than what the characters are doing.  You should also know why.

It isn’t a new discovery.  In fact, it’s something I’ve already had to do for Mara’s story.  It’s still always a good reminder.  Today I started working on the scene with Mara at age four, attending a city-wide celebration thrown by the royal family.  It wasn’t her motivation I needed to find; she’s small enough that someone simply took her along.  Instead I needed to figure out the motivation of the slave trader’s wife who takes her.

I knew that Mara needed to go to the celebration, for two reasons.  First, this is one of those events that will link all three books chronologically.  Second, this will become a point of reference for a future event.  Having established that she needs to attend, and knowing that she’ll be taken to the event by the trader’s wife, I had to figure out why the woman would risk taking a little slave girl out into a large crowd.

With a little thinking, I figured it out.  There will be gifts given to children, as well as to mothers, as part of this celebration.  So taking a couple of kids makes it a more lucrative experience for the woman.  The two she takes are young enough that she can hold their hands tightly the whole time and no one will be suspicious.

Finding the key to her motivation made starting the scene so much easier.