Character Motivation

Seeking Sanctuary At World's End

Character Motivation

You often hear an actor ask “what’s my character’s motivation?”.  When you don’t have internal dialogue, the action must convey what drives the character.  In writing, motivation is more obvious.

When it comes to writing how-to, character motivation is often left in character development.  Why does your character behave the way they do?  What are their strengths and weaknesses?  What is their history?  Much of the character’s story is left in the author’s brain but it is vital that the author know everything they can about that character.  That doesn’t mean the character doesn’t surprise the author now and again.

My husband finds it odd that I will often say something like “I don’t know, the character didn’t tell me,” when he asks about a story.  More often than not, this pertains to our freewrites where I don’t plan the story.  I feel that the character conceals and reveals as…

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  1. I think character motivation changes just as real people change due to events they endure

  2. True, but the main motivation (for the theme of the book) should not change, so that the reader can become invested in the character. What do you think?

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