Adventures in the 3rd Person – Motivation

What motivates us?

Grappling with motivations. Not my own. My characters’.

When writing in the 1st person the narrators knows their motivations and their intentions. But the narrator can only observe the behaviors of other characters, can only surmise at their motivations and intentions. And I as the writer have to pretend that I don’t know either, only their basic character profiles give me insight into to how they will behave. It’s like a call and response but I am not sure how they will respond.

I sense there is difference when writing in the 3rd person. For the main characters I need to know their motivations and intentions. This is new for me. Because like in real life I again don’t know motivations and intentions. I can still only surmise. Whereas in this 3rd person world, I can know. And that’s weird.

In the 1st person, I become the main character. Now it appears that I must become at minimum all the main characters.  Sounds like having multiple personalities which I am sure I can’t juggle. I am pretty single threaded in thought as a rule. But looks like now I must become a weaver. Makes my head spin a bit.

But maybe it’s not so dire as I think. It’s not like I don’t have profiles of characters in the 1st person. Perhaps just taking the base profile and layering that over with motivations, intentions, purpose and so on will make it less daunting. Break it down into its atomic parts and it becomes doable.

But still having control and insight into motivations and intentions for other people seems like a serious endeavor, like that might come with a lot of power to decide and control, with a great deal of responsibility.

In my own life I don’t want control over people lives. That’s a huge no-no for me, makes me very uncomfortable. I am concerned I might feel that same discomfort in controlling my characters’ desires and destinies. Oh boy, this is starting to start like another topic for therapy.

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