How late is too late when it comes to your Story Goal?

by Luna

Question: Hi! I love your website and it's really helped me! I was wondering about my Story Goal. I have a prelude that sort of keys the reader into what's going to happen, but I don't really introduce the goal until many more events occur. Is this okay? Can I can do that? Or should I rewrite so that the Story Goal is introduced earlier? Thanks for the advice!

Answer: On the one hand, it doesn't matter where the Story Goal is introduced, as long as it is made apparent somewhere, so that the reader at some point understands what's happening, what the point of all the characters' efforts is.

On the other hand, it probably makes sense to consider the effect it has when you delay revealing the goal. Generally, it creates an atmosphere of mystery, where nothing quite makes sense at first and the reader is waiting to find out what's going on. If that's the effect you're going for, no problem.

However, if you're not trying to create that atmosphere of mystery, then you may find it works to introduce the Story Goal earlier, and even to bring it up several times throughout the story (rule of thumb is once per act).

Comments for How late is too late when it comes to your Story Goal?

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Jul 26, 2012
This helps me too!
by: Claudia

I had been wondering this myself, so I´m glad that someone asked...and I really loved the answer. it´s great that someone as experienced and knowledgable as yourself is actually giving us writers permission to be and to break the stupid rules imposed by so many writing groups. Thanks again!

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