story goals tagged posts

Critique Technique, Part 15: Unclear Character Goals

A story’s characters have—or should have—a variety of wants, needs, desires, and longings. Those words may seem to be similar, but the shades of difference between them are important.  Goals—things a character hopes, intends, or needs to achieve or accomplish—make those wants, needs, desires, and longings real. In a romance, the heroine has a goal to catch that special man; in a spy thriller, the spy has a goal to do his job without getting caught; in a literary novel, the protagonist may have a goal of reaching an understanding of a long-ago relationship gone bad.

Football goal posts
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Levels of Goals

In his excellent book Scene and Structure, Jack Bickham writes about characters having goals at the story, chapter, and even scene level...

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