Character motivation

[Source: Gordian Plot]

Motivations: Love, Curiosity, Self-preservation, horniness, greed, domination, power, Jealousy, Duty, order, Self discovery, image conscious, Revenge, Fear, Hate, habit, Comfort, food, sleep, addiction, ambitious, compulsive, dreamer, pleasure seeking

Motivation questions:

What would make him fall in love with someone? they are like him, they are different enough to fascinate him, he respects them, he falls in love randomly, they resemble his mother, they resemble his dead spouse

how easily does he fall in love? always falling in love, has never been in love, doesn’t even believe in love, had one love that he compares all others to. fell in love once and thinks he will never fall in love again. falls in love now and then.

What would make him desire someone sexually?

What would make him fall in love with someone?

What would make him trust someone? What would make him hold a secret? What would make him love a place? What would make him go to a place? What would make him guard a place? What would make him hate someone? What would make him pursue someone with vengeful intent? Is there something that he would go to great lengths to obtain? How would he go about it? What properties would an object have for him to go to great lengths to have it?

Obstacles to Motivations: another person, an object, a place, the nature of the plan itself, himself, a group, a cultural situation, a law, a political situation, custom, a curse, magic, technology, lack of ability

Self Expectations: Goals, past goals, past failures, past successes, disappointments, achievements, fantasies, wishes

Possible Motivations to want a thing: Because it is just beyond his grasp, because someone else has one, it is worth lots of money, he could help people with it, he could protect himself with it, he could attack others with it, others could attack him with it, it would pose a danger to an innocent person who found it, it is beautiful, it is prestigious, he collects those, he doesn’t want someone else to have it, to give it to someone he loves, to prove himself, it has special meaning to him, there are memories attached to it, someone special gave that to him.

Is there something he is highly motivated to learn? To defeat the bad guy, curiosity, to find the object of his quest, to get a degree, to get acclaim, to stop something bad from happening, to learn something about his past, was he guilty of that crime, was his friend guilty of that crime, What would arouse his curiosity? What would the main character view as a prize?

Can’t keep a secret, can’t tell a secret when it needs to be told,

Who is he most likely to confide in? Is his confidence well placed? What kind of things does he hide from others?

He has secrets from the ones he loves, his children, his parents. What is he afraid his enemies may find out about?

How is he imprudent; stupid, ignorant, lack of street smarts, unaware of the evil intentions of others, misreads people, attraction to dangerous people, makes choices he knows he shouldn’t, there is something he just can’t resist getting, doing or saying

How might someone take advantage of his type of imprudence?-list

How would it be possible to sucker him into something? What would be the best carrot and stick someone could use to get him to do something?

What is the cruelest thing a person could do to him? What motive would someone have to do this? Who would be most likely to do this?

How would he most easily fall prey to someone?

What is his greatest weakness? How could someone take advantage of his greatest weakness?

Pride, morality, stupidity, curiosity, contrariness, greed.

how he may have Lost something, imprudence, dept, accident

Let go and only realized it was important to him later

The lost something was – a persons love, jewelry, information, honor, property, money, house, animal

Does he have a neurotic personality type-list for each type { Narcissistic, Borderline, Histrionic, Antisocial, Schizoid, Masochistic, Obsessive/Compulsive, Paranoid}

Self-destructive {sets himself up for emotional falls, gets himself into bad relationships, takes unnecessary risks, cuts himself, attempted suicide, repeatedly allows himself to be duped, allowed things he cares about to be put at risk, taken no action when action would have helped him, chooses partners and friends who are harmful or manipulative, acts dangerously rash, foolishly brave, accident prone}

Delusional cant distinguish between what is internal and what is external : What kind of delusions does he hold? Sees all problems as all his own fault,

he blames others for his problems, Who is he most likely to use as his scape goat? Does he tend to use specific people such as its all my useless brothers fault, or dose he blame groups, for example through racism or sexism? Is he hostile to people with either more or less power than himself?

Thinking habits
What would he regard as common sense, is common sense what is commonly held or what is logically obvious.


what are the things he sees as true: the truths against which other things are verified. Are his opinions considered or dogmatic? What are his prejudices and how did they originate? Political tendencies: {conservative, liberal, business, proletarian, fascist.}

How much does he care about politics? Does he talk about it.

Reaction to success\failure
{devastated by failure, unemotional about victory, highly emotional about victory, uncomfortable about succeeding, surprised when he succeeds, surprised when he fails, takes failures as a learning experience, ignores failures}

How self-aware is he? What is he ignorant of in himself? What would it take to make him see it? What are the things he is in the habit of thinking about? What does he consider worthy of pondering? Is he a daydreamer?

Religion {Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, monotheist, atheist, agnostic, Hindu, Buddhist, Islam, pantheist, animist}

Religiousness {atheist, holidays only, live and let live, fundamentalist, rabid, proselytizes, adamant over one interpretation, spiritual, religious upbringing, backsliding, born again, converted, disillusioned, doubting, casually faithful, follows the rules, intentionally blasphemes against his own religion,

How does he feel when he is tempted away from the path? What has tempted him? Has he given in to temptation? How does he feel about the religions of others? hostile to other religions, curious about others religions, intentionally blaspheme against others religions,

does he believe in signs or portents? astrology, landscape reading, animal gut reading, cards, yew sticks

What would he take as a bad omen; black cats, walking under a ladder, the evil eye, breaking mirrors

Does he believe in; vampires, goasts, fairies, werewolves, witches, magical animals, honest politicians

Internal order, Moral habits inhibitions

True morality vs. how he justifies himself

On what is his morality based: {social expectation, Religion, class, peers, family, books, he generated his own spontaneously.}

Does he have more than one source for his values, do they conflict?

His interpretation of morality is; { martyrdom, following the laws, acting contrary to others laws, egocentrism, enlightenment, serving the family, serving the class, chivalry, personal honor, machismo, following a role or caste, keeping things the same, self preservation, hedonism, stoicism, altruism.}

Is there a moral ideal he would sacrifice for? How much would he give? Describe a time when his commitment to his ideals where tested.

What is his idea of justice {Obligation, imposition, fairness, atonement}

Is he morally judging of others?

How does he express it? {Complaining of others behavior, nagging, lecturing, physical retribution, report to the authorities, internal simmering, exasperation}

What does he do when he judges mistakenly?

How does he handle the faults of others {doesn’t suffer fools kindly, views people as all good or all bad, open-minded, there but for the grace of god could go I, trys to see others in the best light possible,}

{unaware of others feelings, aware of others feelings, cares about others, aware of others feelings but doesn’t care. offers help to others who need or want it, offers help to others who don’t need or want it, Doesn’t appreciate things that others do for him, }

Is he honest? Does he trust others? Do others trust him?

What it take to gain his trust {he is highly trusting, outward appearance, a minor indication of trust worthiness, reputation, the person belongs to a group or classification he believes is trustworthy, A major act or test.}

What things does he regard as his duties/responsibilities { his own actions, unexpected results of his actions, the actions of friends and relatives, the safety of friends and relatives, dangers caused by things he has made, emotional obligations to others, actions he accidentally set into motion, religious and social obligations}

{accepts responsibilities, avoid them, take to many, takes on unreasonable responsibilities, take strange vows, always promising to do things he cant do, agrees to do things he has no intention of doing}

What is forbidden to him by religion or ethics?

What kinds of crimes would he find most tempting? list

What is he most likely to do that is against his own morals, duties or better judgment? What is the greatest transgression against his own beliefs that he has committed?

To what degree has he internalized his morals: what he wishes to do versus what he thinks he should do.

How does he act on his morals {Good, continent, incontinent, contrary.}

How does he feel about his own behavior {harshly self-judgmental, occasionally regretful, uncritical, satisfied, self-righteousness, prideful. sorry for himself about his moral failures, apologies, apologies too much, makes amends, highly regretful, haunted by his conscience, post traumatic stress syndrome, denial, projects his failings on others }

Does he feel remorseful or regret, what has made him feel remorseful, how does he express remorse?

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