Story Goal in Paranormal Romance

by shelley

Question: I was wondering if you could give me examples of story goal for paranormal romance stories. I think I'm confusing story goal with internal and external goals. Any advice will help thank you.


Answer: What distinguishes the story goal is that it...

1. Is primarily pursued by the protagonist.
2. Affects or involves most of the other characters. Either they have an interest in whether this goal is achieved, or they are concerned with the same type of goal themselves.

I don't read a lot of paranormal romance, but I did read Twilight recently for research purposes. (Fans, please forgive me if the following at all appears superficial.)

In Twilight, as it appears to me, the story goal is to gain possession of Bella. Edward (the protagonist) wants to possess her, but in a way that preserves her humanity, while James (the antagonist) wants to consume her humanity by biting her and turning her into a vampire. The werewolves seem concerned with preventing her from being possessed by any vampire, and this goal involves/affects all the other vampires, werewolves, and her father to some extent as well.

On the other hand, the personal concern of Bella (the main character) seems to be her desire to become a vampire and join with Edward.

She has strong feelings for Edward (symptom) and tries to be rational about them (response), but it appears as though the only thing that would satisfy her desire (solution) would be for him to give into his desire and bite her.

Meanwhile, her inner conflict concerns her low opinion of her value, looks, etc. and whether these make her unworthy of Edward's love - even though she appears to be his intellectual match.

Note that the protagonist and the main character (or principle POV) can be different characters, as in this case, but more often they are the same character. However, just as Bella's desire to be bitten is something unique to her in Twilight, a character's personal goal is their own, while the story goal is shared with or involves others.

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