CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

EXPLORING ONE'S BIOLOGICAL ROOTS



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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:
Tracking down one's birth parents
Connecting with a half-sibling that has been recently discovered
Returning to an orphanage in one's country of origin in hopes of learning about the past
Searching for the family one was kidnapped from
Trying to find biological relatives
Seeking connection with unknown maternal or paternal grandparents
Trying to find family members that were separated after a war or violent event
Looking for one's relatives after being rescued as a child refugee or trafficking victim

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: A character who discovers they were adopted or lied to about their past may develop a void that only knowledge can fill. Questing to fully understand where (and who) they came from can be a key part of their identity and help them better understand themselves, which leads to feeling more actualized and complete. 
Esteem and Recognition: A character who was never formally recognized by a birth parent may develop feelings of low self-worth. The need to reclaim their sense of value could lead them toward this goal.
Love and Belonging: All people need to have a home, a tribe, a place where they fit in and belong. A character who struggles with finding acceptance may feel compelled to understand their past in hopes of finding where they fit in this world. 
Safety and Security: A character whose physical or mental health becomes compromised will very likely want to track down their birth parents to better understand their genetics so a diagnosis can be reached and treatment can start. 
Physiological Needs: If a character was diagnosed with a deadly disease requiring a donor match, they could be driven to find their birth parents in hopes of saving themselves from certain death.

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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CLICHÉS TO AVOID:
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