Answering The Question

Many characters in scripts don't seem real because the writer forgets to address the most important question in writing: WHY?

The answer to "why" is the character's motivation as we discussed in the previous chapter. Motivation is what gives reality to your characters' quest or goal. Without knowing why characters behave as they do, a writer isn't able to make them real. So many writers just start writing without laying down the character's motivation. And they end up with are stock or stereotypical character's who aren't real or believable, because their behavior isn't motivated.

As a psychotherapist when I see new patients in my private practice I want to learn who they are in the present by understanding their past. I start by developing a case history for them to better understand their psychological profile, their drives, desires, and fears.

To simplify I ask myself, "How did this individual get to be the person they are today?" "What happened to them in their childhood which still affects them now?" I look to their past for the answer. It's important for you to look to your characters' past history to understand why they behave they way they do, when you develop your story.

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