CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

DOING THE RIGHT THING (KIDLIT)



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HELPFUL TIP:

To understand why your character is driven toward a certain goal, take time to understand their personality and moral compass using the positive and negative trait thesauri. Also, dig into their backstory to find an unresolved emotional wound. Past trauma is disruptive and can generate unmet needs that, if strong enough, will motivate your character to chase a specific goal to satisfy this need.
FORMS THIS MIGHT TAKE:
Speaking up despite fear
Telling the truth (even if it means getting in trouble)
Standing up for someone else
Not letting someone else get in trouble for something one did
Taking responsibility for a mistake
Cleaning up a mess that one made
Making amends for hurting another (due to teasing, pulling a prank, taking something without asking, bullying, etc.)
Applying oneself (studying, practicing, preparing, etc.) to do one's best
Including others
Sharing what one has
Finding the owner of a lost item even when one wants to keep it
Making sure others have an equal opportunity to lead, make choices, or decisions
Resisting the urge to cheat
Obeying the rules
Helping others in need

HUMAN NEED DRIVING THE GOAL (INNER MOTIVATION):
There are five basic human needs that, when missing from a character's life, could motivate them to pursue this goal. The following needs are all possibilities, but only one of them should be the primary driver for any given character. For more information on the relationship between human needs and outer motivations, please see​ this ​Character Motivation tutorial.

Self-Actualization: In an environment where others lie, cheat, steal, and put themselves first, the character may have a deep internal need to follow values and beliefs true to them, seeking to become someone better.
Esteem and Recognition: In a situation where trust must be earned (perhaps because the character did something untrustworthy in the past), they would seek to do the right thing in order to earn the esteem of others, and to feel pride in themselves.
Love and Belonging: Love for another and worry about them being hurt by one's actions would lead the character to do the right thing and admit fault, even if it meant there would be repercussions to face.  
Safety and Security: When there's a threat to the character or someone they care about, doing the right thing to solve the situation becomes paramount.

HOW THE CHARACTER MAY PREPARE FOR THIS GOAL:
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POSSIBLE SACRIFICES OR COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GOAL:
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ROADBLOCKS WHICH COULD PREVENT THIS GOAL FROM BEING ACHIEVED:
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TALENTS & SKILLS THAT WILL HELP THE CHARACTER ACHIEVE THIS GOAL:
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WHAT'S AT STAKE IF THIS GOAL ISN'T MET?
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