Find Your Character’s Motivation


Now that you have done some work developing your character, you can start delving deeper.  Try exploring and expanding the character’s range with guesswork about their home, family and lifestyle.  Develop a backstory – in essence, drop the reader into a trap door of the character’s past. You can even explore what your character dreams about. 



All of these things will help you understand his motivation – the driving force behind his actions.  Was it a childhood trauma, a bitter divorce, the loss of a child?  Once you understand your character’s motivation, ask what he wants and what is standing in his way of getting it? 



Three main character types in literature are the protagonist (the lead character that the reader identifies with), the antagonist (who is standing in the protagonist’s way) and the helper, a minor character who helps advance and develop the plot.  Who is your favorite protagonist in fiction? What made you identify with that character?  Keep that in mind as you are developing your own strong protagonist.


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