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Immersive Story, Characters, and Worldbuilding (Motivations, Ideologies, and Methodologies)

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Immersive Story, Characters, and Worldbuilding

Motivations, Ideologies, and Methodologies

 

Introduction

 

In the last few tutorials, we have gone over how to make the characters themselves have a more 3 dimensional personality and how to not have them break the atmosphere you are trying to create through some common follies. This tutorial will have more to do with how to continuously deepen the characters overall persona by helping to drive those personality traits and truly make this character a "real" person.

 

Ideology

 

Motivations tend to be the first place people start with making a character. it's not bad to start with motivations as they can later define the methodology of the character, but to better understand why these people are motivated to action in the first place you must first understand their Ideology. Now, some may ask "what is an ideology?" it's the driving force of a thought process.

 

For instance, say our main character is a spoiled rotten princess and suddenly her kingdom falls around her and she is left on her own to fend for herself. A common "cliché" but let's dig a little deeper into the thought process of the character. This girl has had everything done for her, her whole life. She does not know how to hunt, what kinds of things you can eat if you find yourself with no food and you are outside civilization, heck she probably doesn't even know what the food store looks like in the market place. So her thought process is "I need to find someone who DOES know all of these things.". Again because she is used to these people being in her employ she is going to tend to treat them as if they were servants to her. when in all actuality the people she will now have to rely on have all of the real power, the knowledge of how to survive in the real world.

 

Let's go further into the actual Ideology of this character. Well why does she think she is above these poor potential (likely unwilling) servants? In her mind she is better than they are, she may never say that to them, but in her thoughts she has been bred to be the pinnacle of human existence. It's not so much of an obsession she has with this thought, it's that it's the foundation for all of her motivations. Her driving force to get back to the throne of her kingdom. In her mind no one else is fit to rule her people but her, or someone in her family. 

 

Let's switch gears to another character, one that could be seen as just as cliché but still a little more interesting. The next subject is the rebel leader. Let's say our rebel leader's father was a counselor to the King, the father fell from the good graces of his Lord and was banished from the kingdom. The hatred born by this former advisor, has now passed on to their child as an Ideology. That being "those with power abuse it." so now it falls to this man's daughter to right the wrongs of all of the atrocities of this royal family. From here forward she is a blistering light of freedom, pleading with, marching alongside, and motivating her fellow commoners to rise against this corrupt clan of regals.

 

This becomes such a driving force that it could be seen as an obsession. Because she does not hide her ideological agenda and it is not a subtle suggestion that she feels. This will fuel her Motivations and warp her methodologies (a point we will get to in a minute).

 

Methodology

 

These are the tactics used to promote or enact one's motivations. Say your Ideology is "Rich people should not have so much money." though there are many ways of acting out this ideology let's shed some light on two basic methodologies that are slightly opposed. First being the "Robin Hood" approach, you take from the rich and distribute the extra wealth to those who you feel need and possibly deserve it more. Then there is the "Thug" approach, where instead of giving away what your spoils have wrought in terms of wealth you keep it for yourself. Feeling as though you are bleeding a corrupted beast of it's over abundance and never realizing that you yourself have become just as vile.

 

As you can see here just one slight difference in a characters personality can be the difference between a "good" character, and a "bad" Character. Let's analyze a very nuanced character from a great film by a director who is notorious for the depths of his fictional beings. The film is "Memento" so I am going to put the next few lines in a spoiler because if you have not seen this movie I do not want to ruin it for you and you are more than welcome to go watch it and come back. Don't worry we will wait right here.

 

 

Leonard is the main character of this film, he and his wife were attacked sometime ago and their assailant killed his wife, and shot and maimed him, leaving him with no ability to use his short term memory. Leonard's Ideology has changed from leading a normal life, to "justice". Along this twisted path Leonard leaves himself bread crumbs of a sort in order to lead him to his quarry. Because of his condition he comes to rely on his mementos to piece together the trail he is following and has to do so every so often (about every 15 minutes). This allows others who know of his methodologies and his condition to use him to their own gains, but what is really interesting is the films final scene (which is actually shown at the beginning of the movie). Leonard finally learns that he's already killed his wife's murderer quite sometime ago and has been being used by his "friend" Teddy as a sort of assassin killing anyone who fits the name and general description of the hunted man "John G.". The twist in methodology here comes from the part when Leonard kills Teddy, the only one who knows that "John G." is dead. This sets Leonard into perpetually chasing this ghost of his past, thus giving himself an eternal hamster wheel of motivation. Knowing that his methodology will keep him from ever really finding the truth Leonard has basically consigned himself to never being satisfied and always having something to keep him motivated.

 

 

Conclusion

 

When creating characters and stories keep some of these things in mind. Ideologies, obviously effect everything the character does, keep in mind these are not static, they can and will on occasion change with events the characters deal with in their journey through life. Motivations are more transient than Ideologies, and are like the steps in the staircase to the overall goal. Methodologies are how these characters mete out their plains and can twist ideologies over time even change them from being "good" to "evil" even though they may have the same original ideal. The personalities of the characters will be the foundation for all of this, if the person is generally benevolent and they are a ruler their Ideology would more likely be "My responsibility is to protect and help my people prosper" if the person is Egotistical it would be more akin to "The people of my country serve to make my kingdom greater" there are many other ways personality can effect Ideology and that is where characters who may seem to be "similar" to each other will find the most in terms of difference.

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Hey, would you mind helping me with my plot and such. I have a general idea I would like to take but the details are holding me back. If you ever have time add me on skype "Kolll789" and I'll show you what I have.

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