On Writing: Motivation


When it comes to writing and developing characters, you need always to keep one word in mind: motivation.

Motivation is helpful in two fronts. Motivation…

a) defines characters, and

b) pushes the story along

Think about it. In order for the beautiful harmonizing of a solid story and lovable characters to occur, several things must happen, but the main thing is motivation.

Think Lord of the Rings. Not only is the story itself driven by the motivation to destroy the ring, but the characters are defined so clearly because of that motivation.

Think Finding Nemo. The title itself is the motivation behind the story and the characters.

Motivation is nearly everything in a story. Why am I writing this? Why is the bad guy bad? Why did my protagonist just do that?


But the catch is, the motivation must be believable.

Writers – don’t make your characters bad just to be bad. Don’t dwell on it, but give your readers a reason why they’re bad. The Toy Story franchise does this best with their antagonists (need I say more than Lotso/Daisy?).

Likewise, give your readers a reason to believe that your protagonists really are good, and ask yourself the question: Why is my protagonist good?

Another trick: To help keep your story on track, ask yourself at the end of each scene, Why? Why did this scene just happen? Why did my character just say/do that? You ought to be able to answer confidently with the ending in mind so that you’re always heading in that direction.

When I wrote The Man in the Box, I was always prepared to answer someone who might ask me, “Why did you write this book?”

You should be too.

For more inspiration, join my Facebook Author Page.


About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

26 Responses to On Writing: Motivation

  1. Thanks Andrew. This is good advice for where I am in process on my book.

  2. lljostes says:

    I know you are a busy man…but I did want to recognize you as one of the inspiring bloggers I appreciate. I’ve nominated you as a Very Inspiring Blogger. Check out my post “Thank You” at lljostes.wordpress.com for details on accepting the award. Thanks for all of your encouraging and instructive words regarding the craft of writing!

  3. Thanks for the tip .:)

  4. Madam_W says:

    Lovely post, and very much true. : )

  5. Teranomy says:

    This post is a very helpful reminder. When I am in the process, I tend to forget many simple but important things such as this one. Thank you!

  6. Sandymae says:

    Great advice, Andrew!

  7. hermionefowl says:

    Thanks for being one of my followers! To show how much I appreciate you, I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Have a look at my post over here: https://victoriajaynesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/versatile-blogger-award-2/

  8. Pingback: How to make the unbelievable believable | Write on the World

  9. Pingback: Best Advice: Motivating PeopleCameron Cowan | Cameron Cowan

  10. Reblogged this on Better Butterflies ! Seven Sights and Sounds and commented:
    I decided to reblog for motivation and inspiration and use my time wisely for writing.

  11. Thanks f or the follow and visit

  12. Pingback: Nejsilnější motivační video pro nás všechny | Metheorit.cz - Nebuď ovce

  13. Great advice 🙂 Motivation is indeed one of the main ingredients !!

  14. WriterMama says:

    great advice!:) thanks for this

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