story goal

by shelley Gill
(Manistee,MI, U.S.A)

Question: I'm writing a story about my protagonist being forced to marry the hero. Her father died early in the book. He arranged for her to marry a man he picked. She didn't find out till he died. I'm not sure if the arranged marriage is my story goal or if my protagonist being self conscious, negative, puts self down, doesn't think she's pretty. and the hero being the opposite, beautiful, handsome, positive is my story goal?

Answer: It's more likely that your main character's low self-esteem is her personal concern or problem rather than the story goal. The story goal is generally the problem or objective that affects or involves most of the characters, if not the entire story world.

One way to determine the goal is to ask yourself...

1. Do you want a happy ending?
2. If the answer is "yes," then what would an unhappy ending look like? What would have to happen for the ending to be unhappy?

The thing that would make for an unhappy ending is your Consequence. The Goal is then the thing that you want to happen instead. The two are mutually exclusive.

For instance, perhaps the father initiated the goal of ensuring his daughter's happiness? If achieving a happy marriage is the goal, then you may find your other characters are also concerned with finding happiness in marriage, for themselves or others.

Another way to approach it is to consider that the way the main character resolves her personal concern will determine whether she can achieve the story goal.

For instance, perhaps by changing her opinion of herself (or bringing this guy down from his pedestal) she might make the right decision (whether or not to marry him) that will lead to the happy ending. Alternatively, she might choose someone else who is not on such a pedestal but who is someone better suited for her.

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Jan 20, 2013
by: shelley G

Thank you it was very helpful

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