CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

TRYING TO SUCCEED WHERE ONE HAS PREVIOUSLY FAILED



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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:
An athlete who was injured before reaching a specific level of achievement
Returning to school after dropping out
Summiting a mountain after having to turn back before
Achieving the title belt after losing previously
Sailing completely around the world
Completing a previously attempted religious pilgrimage, journey, or trek
Starting a new business after filing for bankruptcy
Striving, again, to bring one's family into the country
Finishing an incomplete book or memoir
Proving a theorem or hypothesis one has never been able to prove before
Reconnecting with family after a fallout or breach
Trying again to achieve sobriety
Getting back on a treatment plan for one's mental disability
Making yet another attempt to find a lost relative or one's birth family
Solving a vexing and complicated problem

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: Mastery in a specific area is deeply satisfying and something many people dream of achieving. If a second chance comes around for the character, this missing need could drive them to push past fear of failure and try again.
Esteem and Recognition: The fear of trying again after failing in the past can inhibit a character's actions. But if their self-worth is impacted, they will eventually feel compelled to try again to reclaim their confidence, especially if there's a good reason to do so, such as a tempting accolade or an injustice that will continue if they don't make an attempt.
Love and Belonging: A character seeking to win the love of a family member (a parent, sibling, estranged child, etc.) would keep trying to do so despite repeated rebuffs.
Safety and Security: If a character feared they might lose a loved one (to disease, to an ailment they believed they could cure, etc.) the character would risk failure and humiliation to try again.
Physiological Needs: Imminent or eventual death is a strong motivator. If an addict living on the street saw the writing on the wall, it could provide the impetus for them to try again to get clean despite past failures.

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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