So I write…yes. But I am also a school psychologist. One (of the many) things I do in that part of my life is called a Functional Behavioral Analysis. Basically I’m sent in to answer the question, “Why does Johnny throw chairs across his second grade classroom and 11:27 every Thursday?”
If you’re a behaviorist, all behavior serves a function. Here are the primary reasons you, I, and Johnny do almost anything:
You–Get something (tangible, like food or a toy or a publishing contract *wink*)
You–Get sensory stimulation (feels good–ahem)
I would also add that sometimes more functions of behavior are labeled (like Power) but fundamentally these can also be boiled down to one of the above four. Actually you could go so far as to say we are either trying to Get Something (more blog followers) or Avoid Something (the dishes in the sink)–and sometimes we are doing both at the same time (points finger at self–case in point.)
When I’m thinking of behavior and my characters, I think of these basic functions and double check to make sure that what they are doing makes sense. In ASCENDANT, my main character Charlotte WANTS to find her mother–but why? Because she loves her mother and her mother loved her and she wants her mother’s attention back.
If her mother had been a horrible, abusive, beater who was trying to sell Charlotte off into the sex slave industry, having Charlotte want to FIND her mother wouldn’t make as much sense. That story would likely be about Escape.
A is for Abstinence C is for Conflict