A Character Wants What a Character Wants.

Yesterday I found myself in one of those rare modern-day moments when I was stranded for 90 minutes without access to a computer or any other sort of technology for that matter. I won’t bore you with the details of how or why this happened, but I will tell you that I was in a car with nothing to do but wait.

Luckily, I always carry a small notebook and pen in my purse (actually, a sharpie) and I decided that now would be the perfect time to try some exercises. I know some writers still write traditionally before they type it into the computer, but I always run straight to my mac keyboard and start typing. So this paper and pen thing was rather different for me!

But instead of actually writing my story, I decided to write down the names of all the characters in my novel. Then I followed each name with the word “wants” and wrote one sentence that pinpointed that character’s biggest want or drive. It’s the thing that motivates them to be in my story at all.

I know that I’ve read about the importance of figuring out your character’s wants somewhere at sometime… I can’t recall exactly where, but I’m glad that I had it stored in my memory! It’s actually something that I wish I did somewhere near the beginning of this process. But if you find yourself with some empty time, I highly recommend giving this exercise a try. If you do, let me know how it works out. 🙂


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