story goal

by shelley Gill
(Manistee,MI, U.S.A)

Question: I'm writing a story about my protagonist being forced to marry the hero. Her father died early in the book. He arranged for her to marry a man he picked. She didn't find out till he died. I'm not sure if the arranged marriage is my story goal or if my protagonist being self conscious, negative, puts self down, doesn't think she's pretty. and the hero being the opposite, beautiful, handsome, positive is my story goal?


Answer: It's more likely that your main character's low self-esteem is her personal concern or problem rather than the story goal. The story goal is generally the problem or objective that affects or involves most of the characters, if not the entire story world.

One way to determine the goal is to ask yourself...

1. Do you want a happy ending?
2. If the answer is "yes," then what would an unhappy ending look like? What would have to happen for the ending to be unhappy?

The thing that would make for an unhappy ending is your Consequence. The Goal is then the thing that you want to happen instead. The two are mutually exclusive.

For instance, perhaps the father initiated the goal of ensuring his daughter's happiness? If achieving a happy marriage is the goal, then you may find your other characters are also concerned with finding happiness in marriage, for themselves or others.

Another way to approach it is to consider that the way the main character resolves her personal concern will determine whether she can achieve the story goal.

For instance, perhaps by changing her opinion of herself (or bringing this guy down from his pedestal) she might make the right decision (whether or not to marry him) that will lead to the happy ending. Alternatively, she might choose someone else who is not on such a pedestal but who is someone better suited for her.

Comments for story goal

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 20, 2013
Thanks
by: shelley G

Thank you it was very helpful

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.


 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook


NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles


"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards



"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero