Writerly Wednesdays: Needs Vs. Goals in Character Development

on October 28, 2015

The difference between a character's need and a character's goal.

Other writers and teachers may differ, but this how I explain it. A need is an internal, emotional driving force for a character, inherent to who they are. A goal is a short term, outward objective that drives the action, and in best of stories, is linked tightly to the character’s inner need. A character “need” is something that is part of who the character is in life – the thing that defines their purpose. Even when I study my family and friends, I can see how all their decisions are driven by that need, and through that filter. It’s not necessarily the only filter, but as an individual, there is usually a very strong one for each of us. In my last… Continue Reading