CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

PROFITEERING (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:
Some characters are opportunists and will do anything to make a buck. They have little to no moral compass because they're all about the almighty dollar and making as much money as possible.

FORMS THIS MIGHT TAKE:
Using public funds for personal gain
Profiting from a family secret
Selling someone out for personal gains (snitching)
Taking bribes
Seducing someone for personal gain
Taking advantage of vulnerable people (the elderly, mentally challenged, etc.)
Stealing money from a nonprofit
Running up prices during an emergency situation
Fabricating a problem so the character can solicit money from donors to help fix it
Allowing others to destroy natural resources, an animal's habitat, or displace people because one is being paid to look the other way
Benefiting from the misfortune of others (taking money to transport refugees to safety and then not bothering to show up)
Selling someone out to the enemy to get a promotion
Making money from pimping
Making or dealing drugs
Exploitation
Money laundering
Running a successful loan shark business
Expanding into human trafficking
Cat-fishing someone online
Running a scam

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: Characters who excel at profiteering usually have a specific skills set that could be utilized through legitimate means. But they find the 9-to-5, rat-race grind boring, demeaning, or unsatisfying. A character like this may turn to more nefarious means as a way of challenge him or herself and fulfilled. 
Love and Belonging: A hardened character who lacks loving connections may find it hard to empathize with the people around them. In fact, because they feel they don't belong, it can make it easier to view people as "marks" or "sheep" to be taken advantage of.
Safety and Security: A character who grew up feeling unsafe may believe that having money is the key to their security. They may easily be willing to sacrifice the safety of others in order to achieve that feeling of security for themselves.

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:
...