Alfred Hitchcock answered his actors succinctly when they posed the above, titled question. The film maker glibly snapped, “your salary.” Witty, yes, charming, of course–it’s vintage Hitchcock. But he held a director’s secret, he understood his own vision and the contribution each player made to the overall story.
In the midst of promoting River of January, I have been trying to find moments to scratch out ideas for the sequel. The effort isn’t as easy as I hoped. Attempting to work out the characters choices and actions has become puzzling and complicated. It’s not difficult to track what they did and when they did so, but the why is shrouded in speculation. This mystery is annoying, because I am the writer and need to fully understand the ‘why’s” behind the protagonists behavior. And, well, honestly I sometimes don’t know why I do what I do, today. The human heart frequently confounds reason.
So, Hitchcock’s snide retort isn’t very helpful to my current situation. The passionate nature of the characters in River have dropped a monumental job on my thinking processes. I assumed that prior patterns of behavior in the first book, continued into the second. But the archives indicate another story.
The first act in book one, is only a prelude to the intensity of book two, and I need to get a handle on these people before they push me over the edge.
So, what was their motivation? I’ll let you know when I know.