Not one of us growing up missed hearing at one point or another “Because I Said So!” (or BISS for short). At some point when our parents told us to do something (or not do something) we asked one too many times – Why? And we were rewarded with the tried and true BISS.
Now if you really think about BISS, it is amazing in the sheer fact that it makes little sense to the child who heard it OR the parent who spouted it. We feel the need to attempt to provide people (in this case, our progeny) with an answer to their many questions, but oftentimes there is no real answer. Or in fact there is, but it is so drawn out and painful to explain that we jump to the easy BISS.
In writing, BISS is not an option. As an author our readers want to understand WHY something is happening to the characters. We have to provide it to them in the story. No, you don’t have to beat them over the head with it or be so literal as to tell them what is happening. Instead you build it into the story or reactions of the characters or through their point of view. Readers are NOT stupid. They can gain insight from the smallest clue and part of the fun for them is figuring out the character’s motivations in doing what they do.
So I know as a writer that I can’t skimp on giving my readers a reason to believe in what my characters are doing. Ultimately they need to root for them (even if they don’t agree with how they are trying to accomplish something). Because if they like the characters they WILL read the book.
You never want a reader to ask the question “Why should I keep reading this?”
Ultimately your answer can’t be, “Because I said so!”
FYI – Raising your voice and stomping your foot won’t work either…