Goal setting

by sheryl
(houston)

Question: I am working on a family saga with one over arching goal - financial security by one of the protagonists. Can there be sub goals in a good novel. Are there any good examples.


Thank you. I love your website!

Answer: Thanks for the kind feedback.

All characters can have personal goals that are unique to them. In fact, it's advisable for them to have such goals.

What makes the Story Goal special is that it is the one goal that affects or involves most of the characters in one way or another.

To take a popular example, in Star Wars: A New Hope, Luke wants adventure and a chance to prove himself, Owen wants to stop Luke from becoming like his father, Han wants to pay off his debt, the Empire wants to consolidate its power, R2D2 wants to fulfill his mission, C-3P0 wants an orderly life, Darth Vader wants respect, Obi want wants Luke to take over the role of the last Jedi knight, Leia wants to protect the rebels, etc.

However, the Story Goal that involves/affects them all is the effort to destroy the Death Star.

In a family saga, which is more character-driven, it is even more important that all the characters have their own goals, because it is the conflict between those agendas that affect the relationships and create drama. Your protagonist may have allies and enemies and frenemies etc. among the family members and their extended associations. Knowing what everyone's personal goal is will determine how they are involved with the Story Goal.

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