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Characters need Goals


Why do characters need goals?



Desires produce goals. It makes one work harder to achieve your goals. People will do anything to achieve their goals, even if it means to go against their own beliefs, values, instincts or intellect. If an alcoholic has only one desire- another drink- he will do anything to get it! He will steal from others (even his own family), sell their bodies for money; rob a place etc. Their goals will push them beyond accepted and acceptable behavior.


Characters in your story need goals. This goals drive your story. Characters without goals, leaves your story without direction. It’s aimless and have little meaningful purpose.

Your story starts with your protagonist and antagonist, having specific aims. They want something or want something to happen. But, to bring conflict in your story, things have to change along the road so that their goals also change. If your protagonist’s goal was to win the heart of a special girl, this changed when his mom suddenly died. He mourns het death, but also have to cope with dark secrets she had kept from him. He must first solve these problems and then…maybe if she is still available for him, he will try again.

Or maybe his goal is first to find himself. Who is he really and why didn’t his mother told him about his farther? Maybe he must try to find his father? Will this be enough to drive him over the edge?


You can give your characters external and internal goals. What will his personal or internal goals be? To prove himself? To show himself that he is a better man than his father? Or maybe to forgive his father? This should drive him; pushing him forward, while others are pushing back, standing against him, discouraging him. Even killing him literally or figuratively.


Goals give purpose to your characters’ actions.

Give your characters something to strive for, to desire, to reach forward.

Give them worthy goals.

Give them a reason to go on.

And give your readers a story to remember!

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