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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


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


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