What are your character's underlying motivations?:

Total posts: [12]
I'm curious to see what others have written as their character's underlying motivations are. I wrote it out elsewhere, to someone, in a message, and I'd like to share it here. I did it for each of my three main OCs, in a kind of cause-and-effect-arrow-type thing. I also added explanations in parantheses, and apologize for any confusion. So, here are mine:

  • Akiko: Strong fear of starvation and dying alone -> need for security and stability -> need for wealth, power, and respect to attain the latter -> prostitution, thievery, and general mayhem-attention-causing actions. Motivation changes over time to grow from its end there into wanting to free herself from Domestic Abuse and an Unwanted Spouse - complicated by her committing adultery.

  • Mikami: Fear of attachment due to being pushed away by family -> cannot attach to husband (not taking into account her Incompatible Orientation, which does not directly cause her lack of attachment to husband) -> husband is also cold, away often, and suspicious -> feels uncomfortable among other noblewomen, who strike her as superficial -> seeks comfort from prostitutes (whom she can control sexually and who she desires) -> changes brothels and women frequently to avoid attachment (and potential liability). Also feeding into this pathos is her want of genuine affection and honesty, which has been lacking in her life to some degree consistently, and she finds in Akiko. However, she also controls Akiko in various ways, largely sexual, but also acting as The Caretaker, she refuses to let Akiko commit suicide or otherwise die. Eventually, realizing that persuading her lover otherwise is truly hopeless, she either commits jigai or leaves and is not seen again. (still thinking about that)

  • Inagi: Sociopathy and low social position -> Inferiority Superiority Complex -> constant resentment of those in power -> seizure of power when opportunity arrives -> need to be center of attention and recognized -> violent and illogical actions (consumate with sociopathic traits) -> mistreatment of others and blatant abuse of laws -> necessary deposition -> further resentment of those now in authority -> twisted thinking that he was usurped and gravely wronged by others (imagined) -> will do anything to achieve his goal of attaining the same power and revenging himself -> violent actions against current leader's wife to turn the two against each other and weaken him in preparation for Challenging the Chief.

Inagi also has a second one:

Sociopathy and warped logic -> Madonna/Whore complex related to women (helpfully suggested by Ettina - meaning that a woman is pure and faultless to him until she does something, however small, that proves otherwise, from which point onwards, she is viewed as a whore, and nothing can change that perception) -> discovery of adulterous wife and subsequent treatment -> cementing of complex -> dislike of Akiko's unfamiliarity with Tribe ways -> dislike of Akiko as person -> discovery of Akiko's prostitution -> warpath with Akiko and daughter as vehicle to regaining power (and personal campaign against Akiko, who he feels has no right to be in the social role that she is, given her past).

What are yours? Do you know? If you do, how do their most basic motivations affect the rest of their actions? Is there some sort of path or pattern that you can identify or see?

You don't have to write them out like mine, of course - however you want is fine (mine might be a bit confusing, too...) I also just realized that my most-developed character, Akiko, has the simplest motivation.... Wierd. tongue

edited 30th May '11 12:48:36 PM by punkreader

Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Elsa has three main drives, by order of importance:

  • First, she's driven by her own ambition, selfishness and sense of self-preservation. She WILL do whatever it takes to survive, thrive, and triumph.
  • Next, she is driven by undying hatred and contempt towards the State Sec. She is determined to Kill 'em All in quick but painful ways.
  • Then, she has her own impulses and physical needs to take care of. Food, booze, sleep, sex, drugs, entertainment.

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
3 feotakahari30th May 2011 01:53:51 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
The most common motivations for my characters are "survive" and "help others," sometimes with an added "kill whoever's killing everyone." Every time I can think of that I've given a character another motivation, either "help others" overruled it, or said motivation was portrayed negatively (e.g. a character who claims to want to overthrow the government, but is really just using this as an excuse to cause trouble.)
That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful

Jason's motivation is a mix. There is revenge, saving his people, and a sense of duty. He was a soldier, and still sees himself as one.

Later it goes from a sense of duty and saving people to being fueled by pure hatred and latter he wants to turn his people into his own personal vision, so ambition and a sense of power fuel him later on after he is successful.

He kind of makes the war go on in a couple of ways due to his own impulses.

Protect others/duty -> duty/revenge -> power/ambition

Though he still cares for people even after his motivations deteriorate, he is more 'loss and gain' when it latter comes to saving people, in a calculating manner, but he still wants to help/save people deep down. Other things are just stronger urges at that point.
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
5 EndarkCuli30th May 2011 06:42:17 PM from Ontario, Canada , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Welcome to Purgatory!
The only character with motivations I can easily recall without looking through my notes is Marlow Wicks. If I may have permission to use this cause-and-effect concept myself:

Fear of loss and abandonment (caused by traumatic death of girlfriend) -> lust for attention -> thirst for power (because it's easier to be noticed when you have power, and easier to protect those close to you) -> onset of hopelessness, and the desire to just give up and take the 'easy' path -> constantly lying and cheating his way to success (unless it could directly lead to losing someone close)

6 Usht30th May 2011 06:49:04 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Motivations for my characters have been pretty basic, in fact, the main three are:

  • It's the right thing to do.
  • It's a profit for me.
  • It's the only thing I know how to do.

However, now that I'm making a mother as a main character, her motivation is a little wonky to get right. I thought having her focus on needing to protect her child was the right way to go but then I realized no mother is like this, she doesn't exist to simply pamper her kid. Since then it's been rewrite after rewrite to balance out her needs to fulfill her own desires and her motherly instinct to take care of that child. Despite the level of trouble it's given me, I think I like this sort of depth more, it's given me a better look at what it means to be a parent.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
7 Wolf106630th May 2011 11:38:55 PM from New Zealand , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Typin' strangely
In my current work, every single character:

Survival of self, family and friends


A few luxuries

edited 30th May '11 11:39:13 PM by Wolf1066

Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
8 annebeeche31st May 2011 12:42:49 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
AB!Beowulf's underlying motivation to get through the plot is very simple—he doesn't want to die.

edited 31st May '11 12:44:02 AM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion.
I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
9 Edmania31st May 2011 01:07:59 AM from under a pile of erasers
o hai
need for wealth, power, and respect to attain the latter -> prostitution, thievery, and general mayhem-attention-causing actions.

wait what
If people learned from their mistakes, there wouldn't be this thing called bad habits.
Three random characters with no particular connection:

Beta: To protect his family and people who are close enough to him that he considers them family.

Spiral: Originally, he wanted to leave his mark on the world, so that he would be remembered. That goal has drifted over the millennia, no small surprise as he has headed the world's most powerful Mega Corp. since before recorded history(long story).

Case is motivated solely by his own happiness. He does what makes him happy and if doing something doesn't make him happy he doesn't do that thing.
This is still a signature.
11 dRoy31st May 2011 01:35:18 AM from The Happy Place , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Perpetually clueless
Let's see here.

  • Hyun Soo: He wants everything around him to not change and threatened, especially his friends and family. He also wants to do what is right, fulfill his "Noblesse Oblesse", and be a proud son to his adopted parents.
  • Ji Ho: Having fun, without being involved with his deadly mistakes from his past again, but also wanting to make up for it.
  • Eun A: Not having to obey her opressive clan and having someone to stay beside her without fearing her.
  • Marcus: Finding the absolute truth of the world, while finding a place to settle down.

edited 31st May '11 1:35:35 AM by dRoy

Mother of god...You turned one of the hardest and best Champions into an absolute joke. - Zelenal
@ Edmania: She's a teenager - teenagers aren't exactly known for their flawless logic - myself included. She thinks that by getting wealthy, she'll attain everything else, and she is willing to do anything to get rich. Hence the prostitution and thievery.
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Total posts: 12