50 Character Motivation Ideas

50 Character Motivation Ideas

Your story is always stronger when your character wants something. This is what propels them to make the decisions they make. If you're struggling to find a good motivation for your character, I've compiled 50 ideas you can use...

If you want to learn how to use the character's backstory to formulate a motivation, we cover all that and more in the 100 page Character Workbook.


Beat personal weakness

Escape cult

Repay life debt

Avenge mentor's death

Rescue from captivity

Prevent catastrophe

Expose an affair

Academic validation

Escape prophecy

Beat addiction

Gain redemption

Reunite with lost love

Prove innocence



Expose corruption

Recover stolen identity

Get rich

Get back home

Outsmart AI

Be loved by the public

Care for child

Resurrect famous king

Decode secret

Expose their tormentor



Gain equality

Get revenge on ex

Find lost parent

Avenge betrayal

Uncover family secret

Escape imprisonment 

Escape mundane life

Protect loved ones

Seek redemption

Find hidden treasure

Prove doubters wrong

Overcome personal fear

Fulfil dying wish

Establish a legacy

Gain control/power

Family’s approval

Get over ex-lover



Cure terminal illness

Seek justice for friend

Escape relationship

Leave small town

Redeem their family

Solve mystery

Reunite with family


Experience true love

Win the war


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