Today, I wanted to share some thoughts on motivation. Not motivation in the sense of you as a writer, but in the sense of your characters. If you think about it, motivation falls under two categories: Good and Bad. If, for example, I’m working really hard to become a nuclear physicist because I want to build a weapon to kill millions, that is bad motivation. If, however, I’m robbing a bank because I can’t afford to pay for my dying son’s life-saving surgery, that is good motivation.

As well as this, there are many sub-categories:

Money, power, love, revenge, hatred, loyalty etc.

It’s pretty fun to take one of these themes and then think about how a character uses that as their motivation. An interesting and deep antagonist might be someone who’s motivated out of loyalty to the protagonist but ends up causing more harm than good. The possibilities are pretty much endless.

Anyway, must dash for now. I’ll put up another bite-sized post later on this evening.

~ James

4 thoughts on “Motivation

  1. hereticfox 10-Apr-2012 / 08:40

    Lately, I’ve been getting into the habit of building a list of scenarios and themes, then asking myself how each of my characters would react to them. Usually it consists of a list of traits, like loyalty or greed; then writing their three reactions to it:

    Surface reactions, such as their outward view on it — how they want others to think they view the trait.
    Thoughts, very straightforward; what do they tell themselves about their view on the trait.
    And feelings, the unadulterated truth of their viewpoint — be it grim or rather silly.

    Usually these do very well to determine for me their motivations in things. “Usually.” Some end up surprising even me, with the way behaviors and opinions change through the duration of their experiences.

  2. horoscopo chino 28-Feb-2013 / 13:12

    Thanks for finally writing about >Motivation | Fantasy In Motion <Liked it!

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