Working out what your characters’ goals are will help you plan your plotline and develop engaging, motivated characters your readers will love to follow.
Your characters need goals to get them to the next page, and then the next, and on until the end. They need to be going somewhere, trying to achieve something. That will make them the kinds of characters readers will want to spend time with, maybe even for a few hundred pages.
Readers will want to know if your characters achieve those goals, and if they will overcome the inevitable obstacles (you put) in their way. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won’t. They will have small goals that they can achieve (or not) within a couple of pages, and they will have those overarching goals that will take your heroes right through to the end.
Even Oblomov, the man who stayed in bed for most of the story, had a goal: he wanted to stay in bed. And he worked hard to do it. That was pretty much his story.
Your characters’ goals are therefore essential for determining your plot. Work out the goals and you’ll go a long way to having a plot. And, if you already have a basic plot, you can develop it in greater detail by working out what your characters’ goals will be along the way. [Read more…]