The world of fiction is an intricate and fascinating realm that captures our imagination and takes us on a journey into the lives of characters and their experiences. In order to create compelling characters and plotlines, writers often incorporate various literary elements such as stimulus and response, background, and motivation.
Stimulus and response are fundamental components of any fictional narrative. A stimulus is an event or action that triggers a response from a character. The response can be physical, emotional, or intellectual. For example, a character who receives a job promotion may feel elated, while another who loses their job may feel devastated. The stimulus can be anything from a traumatic event to a small, everyday occurrence.
In other words, background and motivation are not a stimulus; character thought or feeling is not a stimulus. The stimulus must come from outside so (if picturise) the audience can see or hear it.
The law of stimulus and response dictates that a character must have an immediate, physical cause for what he does. This immediate stimulus cannot be merely a thought inside his head and has to be shown as a stimulus to action outside of the character.
Character background is another critical aspect of fiction. A character’s background includes their history, experiences, upbringing, and cultural influences. Understanding a character’s background is crucial to comprehend their personality and motivations. For example, a character who has experienced poverty may be motivated by a desire for financial stability and success.
Motivation is the driving force behind a character’s actions and behaviours. It is the reason behind what a character does or says. Motivation can be influenced by a character’s background, beliefs, values, and desires. For example, a character who has experienced betrayal may be motivated by a desire for revenge, while another who has suffered heartbreak may be motivated by a desire for love and companionship.
When creating fictional characters, writers must consider how these three elements interact. A character’s response to a stimulus is influenced by their background and motivation. For example, a character who fears heights may respond differently to being stranded on a tall building than one who enjoys heights.
Moreover, a character’s background can influence their motivation. For example, a character growing up in an abusive household may be motivated by a desire for safety and security. Understanding the character’s motivation can also help the writer to create tension and conflict within the story.
Stimulus, response, background and motivation are vital components of any fictional narrative. They allow writers to create fully developed and realistic characters and plotlines. By exploring these elements, writers can create compelling stories that capture the imagination of their readers and keep them engaged until the very end.