Monday, June 28, 2010

Character Goals, Motivations, & Conflict

Everyone has their own secret formula when writing.  There is no write right or wrong way. Here is mine. I start with my favorite part: characters, personalities, and names.  Up next I establish the characters goals, motivations, and conflict.  I think this is just as fun as playing with baby goats.  Okay, so if you're not a goat person we can insert puppies or kitties.  If you're not a puppy and kitty person insert snakes and lizards.

Goal- n. 1.object of ambition or effort; destination    (What your character wants)

Motive- n. 1. thing that induces a person to act in a particular way; incentive   (What makes them go after their goal)

Conflict- n. 1a. a state of opposition b; fight struggle v. 2. clash; be incompatible (What is going to get in their way)

When thinking about my characters goals and motivation I factor in their past history, personality, and their internal conflicts.  Throw in some external conflict and we have some good drama going on!

Let's play with the classic boy wants girl scenario....

Meet the boy who wants the pretty girl. We will call him Bob.  Bob is insecure chews on pencils and resents his parents.

Throw in some conflict, a wizard. He seeks him out to change him into a hunk.              

                                                                        and more conflict a wolf who wants him for dinner.

Don't forget the boy's motivation. Megan Fox. Oh la la.

 Some internal conflict.  I am a lion hear me ROAR!

Yea, it's kinda like that!  Hmmm let's hope Bob finds the wizard while avoiding the wolf.  Will Bob get the girl or continue to chew his pencils for the rest of his life.  Roar Bob roar!  You can do it!

So tell me where do you start with a newbie story?

1 comment:

Lydia Kang said...

Sometimes I just think of a small thing--an interaction, or a concept--and just make all the rest (like you said) up after to make a story.
Great post!