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WriYe Blogging Circle – Jack’s Motivation

27 March 2015 No Comment

I missed February’s blog circle, but here it is, only a month late and pre-empting this month’s post. Regularly scheduled programming will return Sunday. <;^)

Character Motivation:
What is the main motivation behind your characters? Where do you come up with that motivation? Do you tend to use the same sort of motivation in every novel, or do you tend to mix it up more? What is your favorite example of character motivation?

Share with us an excerpt from your current or completed novel(s) that demonstrates your favorite example of character motivation.

Rather than consider all of my characters in the different ‘verses I’m lost in, I’m going to stick to the one I know the best, or at least as best I can. Jack Dawes. What a guy… at times as transparent as a picture window, and at others, like a mud puddle.

Jack’s life was simple, back in the day. Get up, follow orders, give orders go to bed, repeat. Mindlessly, he did as his gods bade him. Live or die, whatever…as long as his gods were happy. Until the day he followed the wrong orders and was punished, his only motivation was to serve.

Early in the punishment, his only motivation was to do as he was required, until his time was up and he could return to the fold, so to speak. Eventually it became too much, and he realized he liked having some freedom and the ability to make his decisions. He rebelled, well, to a point.

But that’s all back-story. Now, in the period I’m writing (pretty much present-day), Jack’s motivation is to keep the Dhrmin Grigori at bay, keep Shay safe and out of whatever mess she gets herself into, and live out his days – mortal. He’s gone back to simple… sort of. It’s the same for Jack in every story I’ve got planned out, although eventually the DG are as much as eliminated and Jack and Shay only have to deal with the crazy that is New Bedlam.

I always have a hard time explaining how I do anything when it comes to the New Bedlam/Jack Dawes storylines, most particularly characterization and motivation. I’m probably crazy, but Jack, Shay et al are… well, okay. Here’s the thing. I dream these things. If I don’t write ‘em out, the dreams get bad. Like I said, I’m probably crazy… but Jack, Shay – they’re all real in my dreams. I’ve had long conversations with ‘em, I’ve even joined in some of the adventures. To me, writing their lives, Jack’s life, is no different than if I was writing about my neighbor’s life, or my daughter’s life. I’m not so much coming up with their motivations as I am taking notes.

Crazy, right? Yeah… kinda runs in the family, but it’s also how New Bedlam came to be.

Now for the bonus – a wee excerpt that almost completely defines Jack’s motivations. The McClane family is the last of his karma collection, and Shay being the last of the McClane’s is the love of his very, very long life. In completing the last task for the DG, he thinks he’s guaranteeing their safety and freedom…

Excerpt from Into the Mirror (wip):

Jack Dawes never drove the speed limit. The glove box was filled with various slips of paper all citing his speed and the price he would have to pay. Eventually, someone would actually toss his ass in jail for unpaid tickets, but in the meantime, he would not drive fifty-five.

As he passed the New Bedlam sign, he glanced at the speedometer. He was only twenty miles over the limit, and with no cops in sight, he pushed the old car a little harder. It was only as he entered town that he applied light pressure on the brake.

The classic Malibu eased onto Main Street with little notice from the pedestrians and other drivers. Despite having been a major player in the near-total destruction of their town two years ago, he and his car were practically unknown. The citizens of New Bedlam just didn’t want to know; for most of them, the incident was nothing more than a freak occurrence of nature, a big storm that riled everything up.

Of course, they also ignored every other weird, paranormal and freak accident that happened within the radius of the town. He knew things, things that would curl their souls if they would only believe. They wouldn’t, and he supposed they were safer for it.

Parking across the street from the lawyer’s, Jack eased back in his seat, reclining as much as he was able. He didn’t think Shay and Baldwin were still in the office, but he could also feel that she’d hidden herself from view. Damn me, shouldn’t have given her that tattoo.

He decided to wait an hour, to be sure no cleaning staff or other lag-behinds were still present. He planned to get in, find the items the Dhrmin Grigori wanted, and get out. He’d hightail it to the Inn afterwards, curl up with Shay and get some rest before heading back to Leary’s Mills.

Movement in the side alley caught his attention, and Jack slid lower in the seat. He watched as Shay and Allen Baldwin shook hands, each then turning and leaving in opposite directions. Neither took notice of the car across the street, but he’d worked on that. The DG left him with enough power to work a few spells even Shay couldn’t pick up on.

It came in handy, but it was a pain when Shay could use it against him.

He waited a few moments longer, then eased out of the car and quickly crossed the street. He could feel the energy of old Alec McClane oozing from every window, every crack in the masonry. The man was inviting him to proceed, yet taunting him with his presence. Alec McClane was definitely still attached to his knick knacks.

Jack put his hand on the door, giving it a mental push. After only seconds, he heard the click as the locks released, and he entered the building. He knew exactly where he needed to go; four flights of stairs in the main part of the building, and then a small, secreted staircase from Allen Baldwin’s office, straight to the storage rooms on the top floor.

A small energetic battle with the remainder of Alec McClane, and Jack found what he was looking for, behind the first door. The old man did not want Jack touching his things, did not want him to turn them over to the Dhrmin-Grigori. “You know what, old man? I don’t want to be here either, and I don’t want to deal with the DG any more than I need to. You brought us here, you put Shay into this, and that puts me into it.”

A bang from the back of the room made Jack smile. “I’m not scared of you, Alec, I never was.” He moved through the maze created by boxes and trunks filled with little more than trinkets, stopping now and then to put his hand over one or another. When he reached the area that the sound had come from, he could feel it; a dark, leaching sort of energy, trying to pull his power from him. “Ah. You know better, Alec. Your tricks don’t work on me, or any other DG-” Jack was interrupted by the clear sound of laughter. Though the hair stood on the back of his neck, it was only a physiological response to the situation. He laughed along with the spirit, albeit a bit more uneasily than he’d hoped.

“It’s in here, I know it is.” The first thing on Jack’s list was an old walking stick, topped with a sterling wolf head. In days long gone by, Jack had felt that wolf’s bite as the cane struck him at his temple, his old adversary using it to escape capture by the Dhrmin Grigori for some sin left unrepented.

At last, Jack’s hand settled on the cold metal, and he pulled it out, speaking of few words of power over it to subdue the energy. “Two more to go.”

A jewelry box hidden in a cedar chest tucked into a locked trunk proved a little hard to get to. After several moments, and just as he was about to give up and bash it in, the lock popped. The ring inside the box needed a tad more effort to subdue, and it nearly wore him out.

Taking a moment’s rest, he could sense the spirit’s anger hovering in the air. Jack smirked, knowing his relationship with Shay, and previous with Micheline, caused the patriarch no end of spiritual torture. That Jack had been the one to call down the fire on Serena would have been, had the senior McClane still been alive, signing his death warrant. Serena always had been, and now probably always would be, the man’s favorite.

His energy renewed, Jack realized he couldn’t feel the final item. A three pound terminated quartz crystal, clear as glass except for a tiny flaw shaped like two lovers; he was certain it was not in the storage room.

I’ll have to check the house tomorrow, while Shay deals with the rest of this… crap. A boom thundered through the room, echoing in the hallway and stairwell. “Yeah, I get the picture. I’m leaving… but I’m taking your trinkets with me.”

’til sometime this weekend… lol!
<3 JL

You should check out the other WriYe Bloggers!

Ana — My Get Up and Go Gone Got Up and Went

Crescent Lizzy — Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Dreigiau – Why does anyone do anything?

Elizabeth Sade — Character Motivation

JayKath — So I Hadn’t Examined My Motives…

Jono — Let’s Get Motivated!

krazikrys — What’s My Motivation?

lifeatemymuse — Motivation Behind the Character

Lokanya — Motivation

theAcorn — Character Motivations

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