Join Lisa Cron for an in-depth discussion in this video Story check (All protagonists have a goal), part of Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story.
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Here are few questions to help you make sure that your protagonist has a goal worthy of an entire story. First, ask yourself what is my protagonist's external goal? What does he want more than anything? What's his reason for living? Everyone has an agenda, what's his? And remember, saying he wants $10 million isn't enough, it's general, and besides, who doesn't want $10 million? The point is be specific. Second, what is my protagonist's internal goal? What will achieving his external goal mean to him? Why does he want it? What does he think getting it will say about him? How will that affect his self image? And as important, is he right? Third, do these goals force him to face a specific long-standing problem or fear? What secret fear must he confront if he is going to have a shot at his goal? What hidden truth has he spent his whole life avoiding that he's now forced to look straight in the eye or give up and go home? Now that you know how important it is to really nail your protagonist's goal, open the example from your exercise files. Remember, the protagonist's fate is in your hands.
- What is a story?
- Hooking your reader
- Feeling what the protagonist feels
- Being specific
- Creating suspense and conflict
- Writing flashbacks and subplots