35 Motivations for Your Characters

Hey, I’m back again, and this time I have come up with a list of some rather more uncommon motivations for your characters — beyond the more usual revenge, love, justice, greed, etc. (Not that those are bad, but I think it can be fun to mix it up a bit, or even just to make those more specific.)

Motivations are really important, and everyone has one. Every good character want something, even the minor ones. What your characters want influences their actions. And not all of them have to be huge things — they just have to be important to the character. Anyway, I’ll get on with the list. Hopefully these are helpful to someone!


Your character might want want . . .

1) Perfection (or to create a utopia)

2) To be remembered

3) To be respected

4) To escape oppression

5) To be adored

6) To find employment

7) To break an addiction

8) To prove a hypothesis

9) To write a book

10) To be noticed

11) Marriage

12) Immortality

13) Freedom

14) To forget the past

15) To lift a curse

16) To become a god(dess)

17) Entertainment

18) To restore someone/thing/place to its former glory

19) To live peacefully

20) To win a contest

21) To find their lost idol/hero

22) To atone for previous wrongdoings

23) To make friends

24) To raise a family

25) To stop criminals

26) To seduce a certain person

27) To fit in

28) To see the world

29) To cure an illness

30) To humiliate rivals

31) To save/help a loved one

32) To solve an ancient mystery

33) To retrieve a stolen item

34) To clear someone’s name

35) To cover up a crime s/he committed


Thanks for reading! I hope these help and inspire you in your writing! And if you have any additional thoughts or ideas, please feel free to share. Thanks again!


Writing Dare

Write a scene from the perspective of a minor character, even if you go back and rewrite it from the main character’s point of view afterward. (It could help you get to know that character — and their motivations — better!)

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