CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

FORCING CONVERSION (DARK)



Never struggle with Show-and-Tell again. Sign up and activate your free trial, Sign in as a subscriber to view the Character Motivation Thesaurus in its entirety, or visit the Table of Contents to explore unlocked entries.

START MY 2-WEEK FREE TRIAL

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.
NOTES:
History shows us that there are zealots who will stop at nothing to convert others to their beliefs. This can occur in a one-on-one situation, where a person abuses a relationship of power and trust with an individual, or on a large scale, where war, persecution, and violence are used as a weapon to bring about an unasked-for change. If your character is more concerned with causing pain and subverting the will of others than the specific change of beliefs, see the entry on BREAKING PEOPLE SO THEY ABANDON THEIR BELIEFS.

FORMS THIS MIGHT TAKE:
Operating a cult
Leading a religious scourge
The government stripping a people of their identity and rights
Brainwashing a child to adopt the character's skewed ideologies, biases, conspiracy theories, or racist ideas
Using mental and physical abuse to break someone's spirit until they abide by certain rules and beliefs
Seizing power and land through conquest (war)
Torturing a person to break and remold them a specific way
Outlawing a practice (say, alternative healing) by labeling it as something else (witchcraft), which carries a punishment of incarceration or death
Casting out those who do not conform (within a community, a society, an order, or even a home), leaving them vulnerable
Cutting off support to dependents who do not conform to the character's beliefs, religion, or wishes
Removing children from parents to "conform then early"
Taking children from their homes and forcing them to become soldiers
Forcing people into a life of sex trafficking

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 religious zealot may view it as their higher calling to bring others into the fold of their beliefs, thereby feeling justified to do this through using any means, including violence.
Esteem and Recognition: Narcissistic leaders believe that the more people who adopt their practice, idea, or belief is how to measure value and self-worth. 
Safety and Security: Characters who force conversion on others for their own good may have a herd mentality belief that a group is stronger than the individual.
Physiological Needs: There's a huge opportunity to use these needs to force conversion. If survival is on the line, people will do anything to get what they need, even sacrifice what they believe, who they align to, and how they behave.

HOW THE CHARACTER MAY PREPARE FOR THIS GOAL:
...

POSSIBLE SACRIFICES OR COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GOAL:
...

ROADBLOCKS WHICH COULD PREVENT THIS GOAL FROM BEING ACHIEVED:
...

TALENTS & SKILLS THAT WILL HELP THE CHARACTER ACHIEVE THIS GOAL:
...

WHAT'S AT STAKE IF THIS GOAL ISN'T MET?
...

CLICHÉS TO AVOID:
...