Skip to content

Status, Safety, Meaning

David Gane
David Gane

In his post, The Braid out of balance, Seth Godin says:

There are three strands, present for most everyone:

Power (sometimes seen as status, or the appearance of status)
Safety (survival and peace of mind)
Meaning (hope and the path forward)

When working on your characters, always consider that their overall motivation may be towards one of these three things.

Figure out what a character external wants and then dig a little deeper. Why does your character want the treasure, date the love interest, or save their friend? Usually, it has nothing to do with the external reward and more to do with something internal like power, safety, or meaning

On Writing

David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


Related Posts

Members Public

Responses help your reader

If your audience locks into the emotional journey of your main character, then they’ll know how to respond when your character responds.  If a stranger approaches and the main character seems relaxed, then the audience will be comfortable as well. If they seem threatened, there’ll be tension.  Your

Members Public

A Novel is like a party

“For me, a novel is like a party. Anybody who wants to join in can join in, and those who wish to leave can do so whenever they want.” — Haruki Murakami

Members Public

What's it for?

Seth Godin recently asked two questions in a blog post: "Who's it for? What's it for?" When writing, do you know who it's for? It doesn't have to be an audience with a capital "A." It doesn't have to be for any audience; it can be for just you. But