Character Development Motivations

Character development was one of the more difficult tasks in comics club. It’s easy to have a character do something or know what the character will do in a story. The difficult part is explaining why beyond just a practical level. Explaining motivations on a personal level is key to developing engaging characters that people want to know about.

While we are in the quarantine I’ve been watching a lot of movies (haven’t we all) among them have been the old Japanese monster movies (Kaiju movies). These gigantic creatures would come to destroy Tokyo on a seemingly weekly basis. The motivations were hardly clear in the brief narrative. Some kaiju were clearly good (Gamera, protector of children) some were evil (Gigan) some were more mercurial (Godzilla, terror of the deep, protector of Tokyo).

The gray area around your characters motivations makes it more interesting to the leader. Hayao Miyazaki was brilliant at this. The model for Lady Eboshi in Princess Mononoke who is destroying the forest to protect her city of outcasts, something bad for good reasons.


Draw a Kaiju of your own. (Comic book legend and creator of Hellboy Mike Mignola has been posting daily Kaiju drawings). But I want to see a few things in that drawing:

  • Visual cues to what your kaiju does that are good
  • Visual cues to what your kaiju does that are bad
  • An idea of the motivations (WHY does your kaiju do these things).

Share your drawings in the comments for discussion.

Categories: Character Development, Daily Prompt, Virtual Comics Club

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