To understand why your character is driven toward a certain goal, get to know their positive and negative traits, as well as any significant emotional wounds that might be motivating them. Then you can explore the various kinds of conflict that could block them as they move toward their goal.
Addiction can be tricky to define because it's similar in some ways to other kinds of compulsion disorders. For the purpose of this entry, behavioral addiction is defined as the overuse of a substance or practice that increases over time, continues despite negative consequences, and is incredibly difficult for the user to stop. Examples can be found below.
FORMS THIS MIGHT TAKE:
An alcohol addiction An addiction to illegal or prescription drugs A cigarette habit A food addiction A gaming addiction An addiction to gambling A shopping addiction A sex addition
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 may be driven to address their addiction if they feel a deep need to discover who they are, achieve meaningful life goals, or live life unchained.
Esteem and Recognition: Those in the thrall of addiction will do almost anything for the high—even stooping to unfortunate lows and sacrificing their moral integrity and self-esteem to achieve it. A character seeking to reclaim this loss of esteem (for themselves and in the eyes of others) might at last be driven to make the difficult but necessary changes.
Love and Belonging: Characters with addictions sacrifice much to hang onto their vices, including the important relationships in their lives. The loneliness, combined with a deep desire to reconnect with loved ones, could push the character toward getting clean at long last.
Safety and Security: Addictions are, by nature, hazardous, and are therefore a threat to safety and security. While it is possible that a deep scare may cause the character to pursue sobriety, there are usually other needs at work pushing them toward this particular goal, such as a desire to rebuild relationships, to be free to pursue higher education, etc.
If the character believed the addiction was killing them and they still wished to live, this would trigger them to seek help.
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: