CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

PURSUING A TOXIC DESIRE (DARK)



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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.
NOTES:
Sometimes a character will pursue a tangible (or intangible) desire at all costs. When it is ultimately destructive for the character, it becomes a toxic desire.

FORMS THIS MIGHT TAKE:
Getting high (a drug addiction)
Numbing the pain through alcohol
Pursuing psychedelic experiences in search of something greater
Chasing adrenaline rushes via dangerous thrill-seeking (risky skydives, following tornadoes or violent electrical storms, playing with explosives, etc.)
Chasing the big score (gambling)
Giving in to a sex addiction
Giving in to an obsession (a career, trying to "fix" someone, hunting a dangerous creature, etc.)
Obsessively pursuing a relationship
Needing to belong to a group, organization, sorority, etc. and doing anything to fit in
Seeking perfection in some way (getting the perfect body via plastic surgery, going to any length to prove loyalty to a cause or person, trying to achieve the impossible, etc.)

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 believe the only way to connect with their higher self is to use psychedelics in pursuit of a transcendent experience. They see the reward as being worth the possible risks (like permanent brain damage).
Esteem and Recognition: Characters with low self-esteem and low self-worth will seek affirmation from others. Sacrificing everything in hopes of being praised can easily become an obsession.  
Love and Belonging: A character who struggles to fit in may find it easier to be themselves and let go of their anxiety while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The ability to connect with others and forget their problems can cause a lonely person to remain in this state. 

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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