On Your Character’s Motivation (GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict, The ABCs of Writing) by Tinthia Clemant

On Your Character’s Motivation (GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict, The ABCs of Writing) by Tinthia ClemantWelcome to Tinthia Clemant’s second post in her three-part series on Goal, Motivation, and Conflict — The ABCs of Writing. This one focuses on your character’s motivation.


Your Character’s Motivation

Motivated Woman achieving goal

Your character’s motivation is the driving force that keeps your story moving forward.

Now let’s dive into Motivation, shall we?

According to Debra Dixon, author of GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict; The Building Blocks of Good Fiction, motivation is what drives your character to obtain or achieve his or her goal.

Motivation is why a goal has been established in the first place.

In my most recent book, Breaking the Rules, my main character, Shannon, has the desire to flee her emotionally abusive husband and build a better life for herself and six-year-old son. Her goal? Divorce her husband. Things aren’t that simple, though, and her husband works to keep her from reaching her goal. But Shannon is determined to succeed. Why?

According to Dixon, motivation is the most important of the three elements of goal, motivation, and conflict. I couldn’t agree more. It’s not enough for a character to want something, desire. It’s not enough for a character to make a plan to go after something, goal. Readers want to know why and it’s up to us, the authors, to tell them.

Your Character’s Motivation is all About Determination.

Let’s say you have the desire to lose weight. You set a weight loss goal of 25 pounds. Great, good for you. What’s the reason for your goal? In other words, what’s your motivation?

Woman in red dress along water

And you’ll look fabulous in that red dress.

Perhaps you have a high school reunion coming up and you want to rock a tight red dress. Again, good for you. Sadly, my red-dress-rocking-days are over. Anyway, back to motivation. The more determined you are, in other words, the more motivated you are, the greater the chance that you’ll reach your goal.

Next up, Conflicts, those roadblocks that test just how determined a character is about achieving her, or his, goals.

What is your character’s why? Why do they really want what they want? Share with us in the comments below.


Breaking the Rules: An Adult Romantic Women’s Fiction Novel

Breaking the Rules by Tinthia Clemant

Love isn’t supposed to hurt.

Hedge witch Shannon Baldos isn’t looking for love. She isn’t even looking for sex. She’s looking for the courage to finally leave her gaslighting husband’s ass. So, the last thing she needs is a distraction, like Wexford’s land-grabbing yet oh so sexy property developer, Adam St. John.

Then again, maybe a little distraction is exactly what she needs.

More about this book: https://www.tinthiaclemant.com/breaking-the-rules/.




Author of The Summer of Annah series and , Tinthia Clemant lives in a secluded spot on the Concord River in Massachusetts. Her companions include a black Labrador/Coonhound named Harlee; Shadow, an elderly black cat who still rocks at catching mice that have wandered into the house; a few hundred wild Mallards; assorted turtles, songbirds, snakes; and hawks, two Great Blue herons, and an American bald eagle.

The Seasons of Annah (2 book series) by Tinthia Clemant

Besides writing, she enjoys baking, gardening, reading (of course), painting and photography, laughing, and movies (the more explosions the better). Tinthia is an ice cream aficionado and insists that Ben and Jerry are the most perfect men ever created. She inherited my father’s temper and her mother’s view on life: It’s meant to be lived, embraced, savored, inhaled, and not given back until every last drop of wonder is claimed. If you visit Tinthia, make sure you bring a bottle of bourbon and, of course, ice cream. Her favorite flavor is Chunky Monkey.

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  • It is a pleasure to write articles for Writer’s Fun Zone. Thank you for this continued opportunity. 🙂

  • Beth Barany says:

    It’s a pleasure to have you write for Writer’s Fun Zone, Tinthia! 🙂

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