What’s My Motivation? Why Writers Need to Motivate All of Their Characters

Thanks to Drew Chial for this post on character motivation.

Drew Chial

Plot driven stories focus on external conflict. Character driven stories focus on inner turmoil. Plot driven stories are more situational than personal. While characters may evolve in plot driven stories, they never change as much as the world around them. Plot driven stories are action oriented. Characters don’t have the luxury of self examination before they make decisions. Their situation is too urgent.

The plot driven story approach is ideal for fast paced globe trotting adventures, sci-fi fantasies, and anything with a clock counting down to Armageddon. That’s why most blockbuster movies take the plot driven approach. It keeps the characters in danger and makes the audience feel like they’re on a rollercoaster.

The problem with plot driven stories is when their fast pace leaps over gaps in the plot.

Often the villains’ motivations are skimmed over like a slight of hand magic trick that becomes obvious reexamination. In most…

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