Lesson 5



The next question, also having to do with your main character or protagonist, gets to the character’s needs. And hopefully, you’re going to see the difference here. What does the main character need? Here we’re talking, we’re thinking about internal desires. Now we’re getting into the head of the character and thinking about what do they really need. And it might be something the character themselves can’t even identify within the story. And you as the author have to do that. The ways that you can get into this is you start thinking about internal things, subtext, the abstract. So, for example, if a character has a longing for friendship, that would be an internal desire. It might not manifest in that as a want. They might want to go out to dinner with a bunch of people. That’s what they think they want. But what they really need, the subtext, the internal desire they have is companionship.

So you can see how the external pursuit and the internal desire are definitely related, but they’re not necessarily the same thing. And many times, from the character’s perspective, they won’t be the same thing. In really innovative ways you can make these two things contradictory. You can make what the character wants working against what they need as a person. So, again, you can see how these questions are ways to prompt you in the scene to be thinking through some of these ideas that make the scene work. So, again, this is what does the main character need—focusing on internal desires.