Story goal

by Tommy Schubert
(cape coral, FL)

Question: After reading advice on plot, and realizing that a character has to have a clear and definite story goal I ran into a problem with my novel. My protagonist wants to uncover more information about his past, but my antagonist wants to kill him. I'm not sure if my protagonist's story goal is to uncover his past, or survive the antagonist. Is it wrong to have two story goals?

Answer Characters can have more than one goal. However, the story goal is the goal that affects or involves the majority of characters, and so is a unifying element of the plot.

It's the goal that the protagonist and antagonist are in conflict over.

At the same time, your main character will have a personal dilemma, an inner conflict over who he is/should be or what his approach to life/problems should be.

My guess is that, in your story, what the protagonist learns about his past, which is to say his identity, will help him decide who or how he chooses to be. Moreover, that decision will ultimately determine how he deals with the antagonist, and so determine the outcome of the overall plot as well.

The connection between the main character's two goals - inner struggle and Story Goal - is part of what makes him the most important character in the story.

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 Plot Invite.

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