Goal and Purpose

by Marisa

Hello, the kind hearted Mr. Strathy

First of all I would like to wish you a happy new year :)

I'm so glad I found your website here, it helps me so much (I read your articles how to write a novel over and over again to understand since English is not my native language)
Thanks a lot for that
I'm confuse whether there is a difference between goal and purpose? or is it the same ?

Next one,
If I have the Guardian as the main character, does it mean that his story will be the main character's throughline and the overall story is about the protagonist pursuing goal ?

Thank you for your attention.

Response: Goal and purpose mean the same thing in English. That said, there are times when the words are used to refer to different things.

For instance, I often use "goal" to mean the Story Goal, which is a special goal pursued by the protagonist that is part of the overall throughline. It is the big goal of the story, often involving or affecting the majority of characters.

On the other hand, every character will have their own individual purposes, things they want to achieve.

Second, you are correct. The main character throughline concerns the main character's inner conflict and growth, no matter which of the archetypal character functions he performs.

So while your protagonist pursues the goal, the reader will be experiencing the story from the perspective of the main character (in this case the Guardian). The main character's decision at the climax will still be key to the story's overall message, particularly as it determines whether the main character resolves his inner conflict and is is left better off in the end.

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