Creating Good Characters – Motivation (Intro)

Great characters are a joy to both read and write, and I really work hard to make mine the best possible.  I’m constantly on the lookout for insights into people and have recently learned a lot from the ebook Four Secrets to Liking Your Work, part of the Career Survival Kit Collection, a great book I highly recommend.

In recent posts (click here for the latest containing links to the others) I talked a lot about personalities and their differences based on whether a person tries to change their environment or adapt to it and on if they focus primarily on tasks or people.

Today we’ll move on to Motivation, the why someone does something versus their behavior (how they do it).  It is, according to the authors, “an unchangeable driving force behind a person’s choice to act or refrain from action.”

So what kinds of motivators are described in the book?  First, there are three categories of things someone can care about: tasks, people, or processes.  And second, people are either motivated by seeing things themselves (invisible) or having everyone see something (visible). Altogether, these make six motivations:

Truth  (Task + Invisible) – “Do I have the right answer?”

Results (Task + Visible) – “What outcome does the task produce?”

Power (People + Invisible) – “Do I wield the most influence or control?”

Assistance (People + Visible) – “Who is supported or helped?”

Form (Process + Invisible) – “How do I experience the process?”

Structure (Process + Visible) – “How is everyone required to proceed?”

Over the next three weeks I’ll go into a bit more detail on these, taking two at a time by task, people, and process.  And in four weeks I’ll throw in some other motivators which appear overlooked by this business-related book.

How are you most motivated?


About EDC

EDC is an award-winning author with a passion for telling imaginative stories resonating with universal truths. His latest novel, Runaway, is a futuristic action/adventure inspired by the book of Philemon. EDC was born in Georgia, growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, where he now lives with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Emma. Besides writing and being employed as an analyst in the airline industry, he has worked as a volunteer with youth, church planting, and Compassion International. He enjoys landscape gardening, listening to alternative rock, and playing the swordfight game on Wii Sports Resort.
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