In Part 1, I explained how important goals, motivation and conflict are to your story. You need to be clear about what your characters want, why they want it and the obstacles they will face to prevent them from getting it, so that you can define them for the reader. I also gave you a few tips about setting goals to drive your story.
Motivation is what drives the character to achieve those goals. They need at least one strong motive, but are likely to have several in a novel-length story. Motivation is the because of your character's goal and can never be too strong. It is the reason he/she wants to reach the goal and what drives him/her to achieve it.
Characters are better understood through their internal motivation, rather than reactions to external incidents. E.g. readers are more sympathetic to a character who wants to save their dying loved one than if they have to, or were asked to.
When defining motives, ask why your character wants to reach the goal. Brainstorm a list of reasons until you find the key driving force for that character. In the same situation, the driving force for another character is likely to be different, dependent on his/her life experiences, upbringing and beliefs.
When writing, stay focused on your character’s goals andmotivations. If they evolve throughout the story, because of events that happen and personal growth, then focus on the new goals and motivations during the next part of your story. I find it helpful to have a GMC chart for each main character, which I refer to throughout the writing process.
Watch this page for Part 3 of GMC.
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Sandy Vaile is a motorbike-riding daredevil with a sense of adventure and a dream to empower fiction writers across the globe to reach their full potential, by providing the education, tools and communities that support them to produce commercial quality stories.