Character Motivation

A pyramid in which you can see the different stages of motivation for people, and for your characters.

When you write, you create characters, and there always should be something that drives a character, otherwise they can be left out of your story. But, what kind of things can drive your character? Below you find a list of possibilities.

Achieve perfection Failure Past trauma
Ambition Fame Peer pressure
Apology Family Pleasure
Avoiding conflict Fear Popularity
Avoiding pain Finding a purpose Power
Be acknowledged Finding adventure Pride
Be bad Finding what was lost Protecting others
Be good Fitting in Prove others wrong
Be normal Fortune Prove themselves
Be remembered Freedom Rebellion
Be respected Friends Redemption
Be someone else Getting somewhere Regret
Be special Glory Religion
Beauty Greed Repaying a debt
Being strong Guilt Revenge
Cheat death Happiness Rising above others
Comfort Hatred Sacrifice
Curiosity Honour Safety
Denial Illness Save the world
Desire Inequality Screw destiny
Desperation Instability Self-preservation
Destiny Jealousy Self-protection
Destruction Justice Sense of responsibility
Disability Knowledge Shame
Dominance Love Stand out
Duty Loyalty Stubborness
Dying Lust Submission
Envy Morality Success
Escaping Not to be lonely Survival
Facing a fear Obedience Thrill

 

Sources:
~ Source 1
~ Source 2