POSTCARDS FROM THE MUSE
What’s the Problem
By Nandy Ekle
You have people and these people speak. But what do they do?
I used to feel rebellious when someone said, “What do they want. They all must want something.” I always believed that a story was simply about what the characters were doing. But then I realized there was no depth to a story where characters just walk around doing things and talking to each other. There has to be a reason for that they do and say.
This reason is your plot.
This thing the character wants is what drives the story. And it doesn’t even have to be a conscious thing. It can be a goal they don’t realize they have, like surviving a bad storm. But there is a goal.
One of the best examples of goal-driven plot, in my opinion, is the Harry Potter series. At first, Harry has a goal he doesn’t realize he has, but this goal continues with him all through the series. The goal becomes more apparent to him through the story, and by the end, he is so committed to this goal that he’s willing to pay the ultimate price.
Your homework is to analyze your favorite story for the deepest goals. Tell me what you discover in the comments below.