I’m reading Crime and Punishment right now. Raskolnikov commits a heinous crime. It happens early enough in the book that I don’t have any idea what might have motivated him to take such an action. Therefore, I feel no sympathy for him. When Raskolnikov winds up in the police station for an unrelated reason right afterward, I’m rooting for the police to nab his sorry ass and throw him in jail.
I read another story where the main character’s insecurity drove them to do unthinking/uncaring/unethical things. It made me root for the other side. It’s hard to feel sympathy for a character that is in a bad situation because they brought it on themselves.
So for today’s prompt, what motivates your character? How can you engage the reader so they accept that motivation?