What motivates your character?
Sometimes it's fear, or revenge, or pity. But beneath the layers of motivation, there's a core HOPE. What does he hope will happen? What are his reasonable expectations vs. his greatest hope -- the best possible outcome?
In one of my stories, my main character's initial hope is completely unconnected with the shiny premise. That's because she isn't expecting time travel to pop up in her life. After it does, her hopes begin to center around that:
- She hopes the genius who invented time travel doesn't botch the past.
- She hopes they can get their scattered group back together in the 15th century before their 21st century boat leaves them marooned.
- She hopes whoever's blowing things up in the past doesn't irreparably change the timeline.
And some of her hopes still involve the mundane:
- She hopes her co-staff, the hot Welshman, won't drop her like a hot potato when he finds out she isn't the poor cruise worker she appears to be, but a trust fund baby just like the spoiled passengers he detests.
- She hopes she'll get into Cambridge in the Social Anthropology program as an international student.
- She hopes she'll be able to balance her incoming wealth with her social consciousness and not be like those yuppies she's studying in her anthropology journal.
- She hopes the arranged marriage her parents have planned will just go away, although she also fears the uncertainty of anything less than an arranged marriage.
You can see how some of her hopes are complex and even contradictory with her fears. That's real life for anyone going through a Decision Point in her life.
What is your MC's greatest hope?