Today I’ve decided to pick on an excerpt from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, because until she shows some respect to the trans community, she’s lost mine. Now let’s look at the excerpt to see how J.K. fucked that up, too.
“You haven’t seen Ron or Hermione, have you?” said Harry.
“No, I haven’t,” said Percy, his smile fading. “I hope Ron’s not in another girl’s toilet.”
Harry forced a laugh, watched Percy walk out of sight and then headed straight for Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. He couldn’t see why Ron and Hermione would be in there again, but after making sure that neither Filch nor any prefects were around, he opened the door and heard their voices coming from a locked stall.
I have a hard time reconciling actions when characters don’t know why they’re doing said actions. One or two instances of this in a story isn’t so bad, but more than that, and I start considering whether I should DNR the book. I’ve caught this kind of motivation hole in my own work before, and it’s generally fixable. I just have to sit back and brainstorm a motivation that logically fits the action, preferably one that involves more than a gut feeling. Off the top of my head for the example above,
He couldn’t see why Ron and Hermione would be in there again, but after having looked everywhere else, it wouldn’t hurt to check.
This post is part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. So many great blogs to keep hopping through. Click here to join the hop and to see what other writing tips you can glean from this month’s edition.
Is character motivation as hard for you as it has been for me? Can you think of a different motivation to fill the hole in the example above? Are there other types of motivation holes that really stand out for you? Chat with me in the comments.