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Inner Drives: What's My Character Motivation? “All for One, One for All, All in One”

MYTHWORKS [Based on Pamela's book, Inner Drives: Create Characters Using the 8 Centers of Motivation (chakras) published by Michael Wiese Prods and available at The Writers Store.]


Want to create characters that last forever?

Learn to use the same character-building tools used by myth-makers and story-tellers throughout the ages.

Want your characters to be understood around the world?

Use the global system of character analysis and creation that’s based on how we really are – physically, psychologically, and philosophically. Since every person has the same system, everyone will intuitively recognize your characters if you align them with this system.

One of your biggest challenges is to create characters that sound, look, and act differently one from the other. Learn to use the Inner Drives to create unique, dynamic, believable characters.

The Inner Drives chakra system is a rich resource for character development, character arcs, and building ensembles. Chakras are actual bundles of nerves in our spinal column that control the endocrine glands which release hormones, which affect our feelings and actions – and sometimes vice versa.

Learn to use these Inner Drives and you too can tap into the power of myth for characters in any genre or style. My article in The Writers Store ezine gives an overview of the chakra system and its relevance to media.

In this column we explore the Ajna Chakra, the command central of the lower chakras. From this seat of wisdom the Ajna integrates and balances all the chakras into a stable, effective whole.




What keeps Frodo Baggins on the road to the volcano in Lord of the Rings?

One thing is that Frodo develops an Ajna Focus as the trilogy progresses, learning through trial and error to balance and integrate his mind, his emotions, and his body.

Like any Ajna Center character, Frodo can see the big picture. Aided by Bilbo, Gandalf, the Fellowship of the Ring, and the other characters he meets along his quest, he has a growing sense of the past and how it creates the present, as well as a sense of how the present creates the future.

He is also willing to balance his own needs with those of the group, to use all the resources available, to keep going even when he’s physically exhausted, to remain compassionate in the face of betrayal, and to hold the ultimate goal always in mind, regardless of setbacks and distractions.

Your Ajna Center characters need to have vision, a sense of balance, and the ability to synergize themselves, other people, events, and things to accomplish that vision


  • Integrate and balance all the other Chakras
  • Receptive to higher energies
  • Seemingly magical effectiveness
  • Visionary


Three inches in front of the forehead, often depicted as a small golden sun.


The pituitary gland, located in the center of the brain, is the control center for all the other glands and hormones.


The Ajna Center is named after the Hindu warrior-prince Arjuna. He was torn between his duty was to defend the kingdom and the taboo against shedding familial blood - the attackers were his relatives. Arjuna’s charioteer, the god Krishna, explained that Arjuna’s greater duty was to defend his country, even if it meant breaking the local rules.

The iconography shows the Prince in his chariot, driven by Arjuna, and pulled by horses. It’s the ideal of our individual personality (Arjuna) being able to balance and integrate our various bodies/senses (the horses) and use them under the direction and inspiration of higher energies (the god Krishna).


  • Benevolent dictator
  • Commander in Chief
  • Futurist
  • Magician
  • Renaissance Man/Woman


  • Five-pointed star — The completed human ala da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.
  • Third eye - The Hindu bindi mark, small golden sun.
  • Pegasus – The flying horse rises above the limitations of being animal or human.


Moon - The pituitary is seen as feminine and receptive.


  • Three-piece suits
  • Mélanges of complimentary colors, fabrics and styles ala a coat-of-many-colors like Joseph in the Bible.
  • Combinations of at least three symbols or styles from the lower Centers: a well-tailored lab coat (Throat) over a purple brushed-silk shirt (ASP) with black or burgundy reptile skin boots (Root)


  • Controlled, precise
  • Touching or rubbing the forehead at the Ajna spot
  • Nureyev meets Rambo meets Einstein meets Gandhi


  • Migraines, headaches
  • Clairvoyance (complex scenes are more Ajna, seeing auras around individual people is more Solar Plexus)
  • Nerve problems
  • Exquisite blends and combinations of seemingly opposing foods: red chili jelly on creme cheese, parfaits, baked Alaska
  • Smorgasbord


Knowing that it takes many different styles to reach all audiences, the Ajna focused person will pepper their speech with words that trigger thinkers, feelers, and touchers.

“Consider this if you will, and see how it feels to you.”

“On balance, this looks to be the best way to integrate our plans for....”

“Let’s all put our heads together and...”


  • Eclectic blends of classical, world, and all other types of music.
  • Create a mix that includes music typical of each Chakra.


  • Neo in Matrix.
  • Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader from Star Wars are both on an Ajna Focus, but Darth’s powerful abilities have dropped to a Lower Solar Plexus motivation.
  • Katniss in Hunger Games.
  • Alexander the Great.
  • Leonardo da Vinci.


  • Henry V
  • Patton
  • Spiderman
  • The Merlin Trilogy - Mary Stewart
  • Largo Winch game - all centers must be utilized for completion


An Ajna character will be a powerful and fascinating because they have each of the other Centers all balanced and integrated. Or not. As they occasionally drop-and-wallow in the lower Centers you have great opportunity for exciting story points. As they rebalance and regain their higher perspective you have great opportunity for enlightening story points.

So after the Ajna, what next? The Ajna Center is the highest human personality Center of the major seven chakras, but there are still the two spiritual ones, the Heart Center and the Crown Center.


Awareness Exercise - Observe, observe, observe! Keep a journal about how and what affects your physical body, your emotions, your thinking. Watch everything from the energy rise and fall of consuming sugar or carbs to your reactions to the news to how you interact with others.


Writing Exercise – Have a character assess a situation [perfect for a detective] from multiple perspectives and explain it: the physical layout and facts, the emotions expressed or hidden; the thinking process; then the overview and conclusion based on analysis using both logic and intuition.


Pamela Jaye’s books and seminar CDs can be found at The Writers Store and on her website MYTHWORKS. To learn more about her consulting, writing, and pitching services, visit the MYTHWORKS website.

Inner Drives / The Power of the Dark Side / Symbols.Images.Codes / Beyond the Hero’s Journey / Show Me the Love! / Alpha Babes / ArchePaths / Warrior Way for Filmmakers and many more.

© 2013 Pamela Jaye Smith

Structure Grid of Character Development and Plot


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