Is Your Protagonist Motivated?

Hello again Writer Friends, and welcome to this week’s creative writing tip.

It’s a bit of an enigmatic title, but is your protagonist (main character) motivated? Motivated to do what? Well that, of course, is up to you. 🙂

OK, this is getting a bit complicated…

Your main character is the main character for a reason. As the story unfolds we see that he or she has something to accomplish, get through, achieve. There is a problem to solve, and he/she is the only one who can do it. (OK, going to say ‘he’ to make things simpler.)

So why does he want that thing, need to fight that battle, get to the other side? What’s in it for him?

Without enough motivation, he is unlikely to get involved and act. Your protagonist needs to have bags of motivation to make your story hang together and seem real. So what is the motivation? Saving his grandma, stopping the spaceship from blowing up, finding a kidnapped friend, getting out of a disastrous situation alive?

If a dog we don’t know is in trouble in the river, we are unlikely to take action. If our own dog is in trouble, we are more likely to try to do something.

dog in the water

If it was a child in the river, we would do what we reasonably could. If it was our own child, we would hold nothing back and risk our own life to save them. (OK, you might risk your life for your dog, but you get the point!

So, how motivated is your protagonist? The more motivated, the more gripping you can make your story. And the more real it will seem to your readers.

What do you think? What is your protagonist’s reason for action? Do you need to up the motivation stakes? Let me know your thoughts!

Janet WilsonTrust that will help some of you this week,


P.S. Never give up!

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