Questions tagged [motivation]

This tag should be used to ask about in-universe motivation, such as asking about ways to depict a character's motivation.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2 votes
2 answers
183 views

How to make human characters turned into monsters devolve and abandon their humanity?

TL;DR: How can I psychologically justify why relatively normal (i.e., non-sociopathic) human beings that have turned into monsters (like vampires or werewolves) devolve into feral beasts or vicious ...
user avatar
  • 4,437
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

How can I flavour quote-only dialogue?

When writing dialogue, I know it's sometimes normal/useful to drop attribution and provide only the direct quotes during dialogue, like so: "Like we used to Mamma?" "Einmitt, my little ...
user avatar
3 votes
6 answers
160 views

Any tips for young writers?

I am a 15 years old boy who likes to read/watch/play anything that has a good story in it - especially fantasy. Everytime I finished one, I always feel like that I want to make people feel 'that way' ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
260 views

How to correctly set up plot promises?

The premises are the following: 1) First person POV (but advice for third person works too) 2) Protagonist-driven plot 3) Some backstory that hasn't been explored yet (and which ties into the MC ...
user avatar
  • 85
0 votes
3 answers
92 views

Why would a someone desecrate a pharaoh's tomb? [closed]

I'm trying to find a believable reason for someone to open a clearly cursed tomb for my short story. I'm finding myself between the silly-but-different and believable-but-boring spectrum. For example, ...
user avatar
  • 13
32 votes
7 answers
5k views

Writing a love interest for my hero

If I'm going to face down a dragon, Mob boss, evil corporation, or a demon from the 7 circles of hell or dystopian dictator, etc, it's not going to be to rescue my buddy Herbert, or cousin Jimmy. The ...
user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

Can a fight scene, component-wise, be too complex and complicated?

Okay, there is some preliminary information for you to be able to answer this question: There is a sword of great power, a McGuffin, and a destined one who wields it. The destined one has two ...
user avatar
  • 4,003
9 votes
3 answers
292 views

How important is payoff?

I'm developing a story with the following basic plot: At the start, my main character's motivating question is "Where is my brother?" As the story progresses, other problems and motivations get in ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
266 views

Fleshing out the character motivation from the plot

I decided to give a try to the snowflake method. The idea is that you gradually expand the story from a blurb into a full draft. This question stems from the character-characterization step, but it ...
user avatar
  • 10.5k
11 votes
7 answers
431 views

Does it really serve a main character to give them one driving want?

I often feel that we fall into a trap of believing that we must provide a driving goal for a main character at the outset. And yet, as I look at compelling fiction, main characters do not have the ...
user avatar
  • 23.5k
3 votes
4 answers
159 views

How to make a grieving father less vengeful and see reason?

I have a character who, maddened by the suicide of his son, chooses to destroy the company the young man worked for, holding them responsible. He is a successful businessman who told his two children ...
user avatar
  • 12.4k
-2 votes
4 answers
149 views

What meta-properties should a character have in general? [closed]

What are the properties a generic main character from a character-driven/psychological novel should have? E.g. relations, motives, personality, knowledge.
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
248 views

Unfair Motivation for a Judge to Dislike an Accused [closed]

I have a scene where a character is applying to be released from prison pending trial. I want an arbitrary / unfair reason for the judge to dislike him. It has to be something that is not justified to ...
user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
4 answers
305 views

How do I make my character be a part of something without it seeming forced?

I'm writing a Star Wars fanfiction because I wanted to practice my writing on something I love, and I decided to make a character named Alexander Ray Rullero. He's not the main character, as in he is ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
181 views

On Characters' Motivations

I'm currently writing a sort of serious superhero thriller. The main character finds out his father is a kingpin and drug lord. At the beginning of the story the main character, who has been living in ...
user avatar
  • 21
0 votes
4 answers
164 views

In a first-person web novel, how to make the reader aware of a motivator the POV is unaware of?

In my novel, the MC (and POV character) spares an enemy. He spared the enemy because he empathized/identified himself with them, but he was not aware of it. Later on he will understand his feelings ...
user avatar
  • 915
-4 votes
1 answer
185 views

How could a galactic plague motivate a villain to conquer an entire galaxy? [closed]

A few years before the start of my book series, a galactic plague of a disease called BigPox is going to spread through the galaxy and inflict mass casualties, in addition to setting many of the ...
user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
1k views

How to make the villain's motives understandable if his logic is flawed?

In a story I'm writing, the villain has his motives for his attitudes. However, he is very mentally disturbed, which makes the logic of his motives be kind of illogic to other people (including the ...
user avatar
  • 4,599
7 votes
8 answers
801 views

Why do readers enjoy reading about "bad" or evil characters?

I've changed a secondary character into a murderer, and it changes everything. This change also opposes my core philosophies, that life and art should strive to reach something higher - not something ...
user avatar
  • 23.5k
2 votes
4 answers
505 views

Still struggling with character desire, positive vs. negative, hooking readers

Apologies for the difficulties I've been having, and leaning for help here. Every step seems to be its own stumbling block. Question: All else being equal, is a positive desire/goal/motivation (of ...
user avatar
  • 23.5k
7 votes
5 answers
383 views

How to communicate character desire?

As mentioned elsewhere, it has been a stumbling block for my readers to understand what drives my characters. I had thought I had communicated character desires through showing, and action, but it is ...
user avatar
  • 23.5k
3 votes
3 answers
309 views

Building character trust

My main characters finally met. Officially... They still don't know who the others are, and are from different cultural backgrounds, too different for the others to seem normal. Although they are ...
user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
580 views

I have a weak motivation for a god character! How Do I Make It a Stronger Motivation?

Okay, so I have a weak motivation for a god character whose son (whom he tried to prevent his birth) seems like he is an apt tool to be used for a plot that will only be brought into fruition about ...
user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
394 views

Would it be possible to create a character without substantial motivation?

The character I describe is in fact reflective of somebody I know in real life--a kind of nihilist who finds all pursuits and goals "hollow and ridiculous", as the person says. This inevitably implies ...
user avatar
11 votes
12 answers
7k views

How can I make believable motivations for antagonists?

I am writing a book. However, I can't quite wrap my head around making my character do bad things, while still making their actions and/or motivations for their actions believable. Here is an ...
user avatar
  • 331
13 votes
5 answers
1k views

How to stay motivated while rewriting?

This related question made me think. I love writing. I am never bored. I never have writer's block. I just enjoy exploring my imagination and following the unexpected turns of my creativity. It is one ...
user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
329 views

Antagonist motivation help [closed]

My (A)ntagonist (or antagonizing force) in my novel causes a nuclear disaster in a remote nuclear facility. I've decided on certain circumstantial plot points, such as the post-disaster coping of the ...
user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

How can I create my own deadline?

I'm very responsible when I'm writing a tech book or article under contract. I have a deadline, my editor is expecting my work, and I turn it in on time. Sometimes I put it off a bit, but I pride ...
user avatar
16 votes
17 answers
2k views

What should step one in writing a novel be?

I have had an interest in writing for years, but I don't know where to start or how to organize the process of "becoming a writer." I have plenty of time, but don't know what to do first. This past ...
user avatar