CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

RUINING SOMEONE'S LIFE (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.
FORMS THIS MIGHT TAKE:
Killing a child or spouse
Turning loved ones against the target
Destroying the things the target loves (their life's work, their home, etc.)
Removing the target's power and influence
Disfiguring or disabling the person
Banishing the target to a place where they cannot succeed or escape
Ruining the person's health
Destroying the target's reputation
Negatively impacting how the target views the world and themselves
Removing the target's freedom
Placing the target in a situation where they are forced to watch loved ones suffer
Placing hope within reach during the target's darkest hour, then taking it away
Giving the target everything they ever could want, then removing it
Kidnapping the target or their loved ones
Orchestrating a home invasion, destroying everything the character holds dear
Burning the target's holdings to the ground (a farm, a business, a stable filled with prize-winning horses, etc.)
Poisoning a much-needed water supply, killing all their animals, crops, and livelihood
Sabotaging the target's business so they are financially ruined
Framing the target with criminal activity to put them on a watch list, ruin job prospects, or leave them unable to travel
Framing the target so they are stripped of accolades or the ability to practice in their chosen field (as a doctor, lawyer, police officer, etc.)
Seducing the target's spouse until they give in to adultery
Blackmailing the target into bankruptcy
Framing the target with a murder or rape

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 is revenge-driven may believe they can only be at peace by ruining the person responsible for their unhappiness.
Esteem and Recognition: A character with an elevated sense of self-esteem (a God complex) may believe destroy someone's life in an effort to prove their own power or worth.
Love and Belonging: A character who has only experienced a twisted form of love may have disdain or even hatred for the real thing. This could motivate them to try and eradicate true love by destroying the people who seem to have it.

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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