DailyWritingTips

Developing Character Motivations and Goals

Creating characters is more than just inventing names or physical features. It’s about understanding their psyche, what drives them to act, their aspirations, and their fears. This is where character motivations and goals come into play.

Understanding Character Motivations and Goals

Understanding Character Motivations and Goals

Character motivations are the reasons why characters do what they do, encompassing their inner drives, desires and fears that push them into action. On the other hand, goals are the tangible targets that the characters strive to achieve, powered by their motivations.

The Role of Motivations in Character Actions

Every action your character takes should be rooted in their motivations. If a character is driven by a desire for justice, they might act by standing up to a bully or reporting a crime.

Setting Clear and Compelling Goals for Your Characters

Goals should be specific, measurable and time-bound, like how your character might want to save enough money to buy a house within a year.

The Connection Between Character Backgrounds and Motivations

A character’s background often shapes their motivations. If your character is from a disadvantaged background, then they’re probably motivated by the desire to rise above their circumstances.

Internal and External Motivations: Differences and How to Use Them

Internal motivations come from within the character’s psyche (like personal growth or self-fulfillment). On the other hand, external motivations are influenced by external factors (like societal expectations or a villain’s threat). Balance both of these to create multi-dimensional characters.

Using Motivations and Goals to Drive the Plot

The character’s goals create the pathway for the story’s plot. Their motivations create the necessary conflict and tension when obstacles arise, impeding their goals.

Making Your Characters’ Goals Matter to the Readers

Ensure that your readers understand and empathize with your characters’ motivations and goals. This emotional connection can make readers more invested in your story.

Choose goals that are realistic, even in a fantasy setting, because your reader is far more likely to relate to them.

The Evolution of Motivations and Goals Throughout the Story

As the story progresses, your characters’ motivations may evolve, and their goals may change. This development can add depth to the people you create and keep the story engaging.

Motivations and Goals Make the World Go Round

Understanding and skillfully developing your characters’ motivations and goals can greatly enhance your storytelling. This process creates complex, believable characters that readers can empathize with and root for, making your story more impactful.