What is Character Motivation?

What is character motivation does not mean that your character must be perfect.

What is the best definition of character motivation?

Character motivation is why a character’s actions and behaviors in a given story or scene are what they are. In this article, we will discuss what is character Motivation?

Motivation can be external desires and relate directly to survival, but there may be internal or intrinsic motivations, too, such as personal motivation or professional advancement.

The internal motivation, which is the most important to a character, gives him or her the ability to make important choices and solve the story’s main problems.

Different Ways of Character motivation 

Through Observation

One way how is character motivation discovered is through observation. In a novel, a character must be seen as behaving in a certain way, based on the reader’s point of view.

While the character is seen as reacting, not acting, this does not mean the character actually has no decisions to make or doesn’t have a strong opinion on the matter.

Read the story aloud to oneself

Another method for character motivation is to read the story aloud to oneself. This method is effective for two reasons:

first, the character is only speaking what is on his or her mind, and second, the character is not acting out what is written down by the author.

In a novel, readers see the character’s thought processes as well as their actions.

It’s a very difficult task for the writer to keep a straight face as they describe an emotion that a reader is trying to decipher.

By describing a character in an honest way, a writer will give readers a much easier time with the reading experience.

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What is character motivation isn’t necessarily limited to the action of a single character in a book?

In many stories, there are multiple characters and all of them share the same motivations, which is a good way for the story’s writer to show how a character sees and perceives the world around them.

For example, in one story, a single character is motivated by their love for animals, and in another, a single character is motivated by a fear of the dark.

However, the motivation should not be confused with the character’s actions and behavior.

In the story about animals, we know that when one animal gets hurt, that’s not because they were mean to the other animal, but because the injured animal has a deeper emotional connection to it.

Similarly, the actions of the character should be consistent with what they say, not the other character’s words.


If you’re trying to create a character whose actions are consistent, look at the character you have created and figure out what it wants to do.

Write the story before you actually write the story, and see if you’re getting close to the character’s goal, as in, “the person wants to take a bath, and so she gets out the door,” or “the guy wants to walk out the front door, and goes to the park.”


What is character motivation does not mean that your character must be perfect. Many successful books have had minor faults or imperfections.

They are written as a result of a character who was flawed, and those flaws are what we see when we read the book.


The last step to discovering the way how is character motivation discovered is to ask yourself, “What would I like to be like?” After you’ve given yourself the answer to that question, start writing!


Once you know what your character’s motives are, you can decide how to present them. This means that your writing will flow naturally.

The goal is not to ramble on about the details of your characters actions, but to present them in a concise manner that is easy for readers to understand.

Without the writer straining too much to make the reader feel like he/she is following the character, the character’s motivation becomes clear.


Character motivation is also about showing the reader how they can get their own happiness by following the character and not by following the actions of the character.


Motivation is not a static thing; it is something that is ever-changing.

In this case, the goal is to present characters as they change over the course of the story, allowing the reader to see how a character evolves and becomes more powerful and complex.

As the author, the challenge is to keep a story exciting by showing readers that the character’s character growth does not stop at the page.