Motives for Your Characters

Finding Motive

By Annette Rey

So many things to incorporate in your characters, right? You can run dry inventing.

Here’s a real quick shortcut to help you to continue growing your characters in a believable way.

You can find help for your writing from the unlikeliest source sometimes. Dr. Phil has a real live list to work from. Think of your character and apply one of these motives or human frailties. Apply more than one. Make him complex.

Per Dr. Phil, these are the seven reasons people lie.

1. To take what is not rightfully theirs
2. To escape accountability
3. To create a fantasy, a false self-esteem to escape their own mundane life
4. To avoid punishment
5. To inflict pain, i.e. spreading gossip
6. To feel better in the moment, “steal” admiration
7. To gain an advantage to exploit others

With just a little thought, any one of these items can grow whole stories.

You want your readers to get lost in your writing. What better way than to make your characters life-like by giving them real-life personality defects?

Write on!

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