Does my protagonist's story goal have to involve other characters in some way?

Question: Okay, I have this story where my protagonist's story goal is to reconnect with his brother. The protagonist's brother has grown detached with him over the years because he's mad at him. He's mad at him because the protagonist had it easy every since they grew up together, while the protagonist's brother had it hard. The protagonist and his brother now are older and live together. The protagonist's brother has a mate (because this is a story behind a wolf's eyes) and pups to take care of. Eventually, the protagonist leaves because he wants to better himself to show his brother that he can help him. He finds this girl, then later her father, and becomes interested in her. The protagonist wants to be with the girl but has to win over her father first then her, all while facing other obstacles for himself.

My question is, does my protagonist's story goal have to involve the other characters (the girl and her father, the pups, his brother's mate.)in some way? I remember in the article of choosing a story goal, that to state in what way the protagonist's story goal affects the other characters in the novel. I understand choosing a story goal just not quite the second step.

Answer: The Story Goal is by definition a goal that affects or involves the majority of characters or the story world as a whole, as opposed to the main character's personal concern.

In your story, you have a world that has been wounded by the damaged relationship between the two brothers. The resolution of
this rift will certainly affect the other members of their family or potential family. Assuming the protagonist is the main character, his inner conflict may be about what approach he should take to handle this problem, and his decision whether or not to change will determine if he succeeds in reconciling with his brother.

As for the other characters, you have to ask why they are in the story at all. Generally, your characters are there to represent various emotional drives concerning the Goal, or various opinions/attitudes concerning the Goal. If they are totally uninvolved, they have no purpose.

For instance, you might ask yourself what role the protagonist's girl plays in the story. Is she supportive of the reconciliation? Is she a distraction that lets the hero put off seeing his brother? Can she make a rational argument for or against? Does she have feelings about the reconciliation?

What about her father? Will he counsel the hero to reconcile (conscience) or is he against it for some selfish reason (avoid)?

Or can these characters provide examples from their own experience of what can happen when you try to heal a rift?

In other words, by surrounding the hero with different ideas, approaches, attitudes, distractions, desires, etc. you force him to weigh up the pros and cons of the effort and come to a decision which will ultimately turn out to be the best (or perhaps the worst) choice.

Assuming the rift is a genuine problem (there are exceptions), the world will either be healed in the end or a worse fate will result (the Consequence).

Click here to post 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.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 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