I didn’t forget about figuring out motivation for secondary characters. My weekend got eaten up with writer’s group, which always seems to eat up two full days between reading and commenting and the actual group itself.
So here are my thoughts on Trog, a secondary character in my WIP. When the main character meets him, he’s a slave to the antagonist. He winds up helping Tavi, changing sides completely.
Trog has a backstory (hum, wonder how that happened). In order to help out his brother, Trog pretends he’s stupid in order to steel Thor’s axe, allowing his brother to take the glory for destroying Asgaard. His brother repays this act by selling him into slavery.
One motivation for Trog might be revenge. He’d want to get back at his brother for selling him into slavery. Most likely, he would also want to take revenge against his former master. So what if she still has a means of control over him, and he’s afraid she could exert her will over him once again, forcing him back into slavery? Then he might not be a visible presence in any fight. That complicates his motivations.
Now, he also has self-preservation as a motivation. In a fight, this could take precedence over revenge. There a several scenes where Trog should act as back up for the main character. If she got upset because he took off, she might then tell him she won’t offer him her protection anymore.
He’s just been given fear as an additional motivation. Ooh, the potential for conflict with the main character because of that.
Okay, off to write a very stressful scene.