Every character goes on a figurative journey; they begin with a dream or goal, struggle with challenges, reach a crisis, and make a choice. But each character’s journey is unique to them. Some advance faster than others, and many start and end at different times.
I. It Begins with a Goal
Every character starts with a goal, usually a desire to change things. This goal takes the form of 4 distinct roles; adventurer, achiever, victim, and leader.
A good story has a protagonist, goals, and opposition. Opposition includes obstacles and forces of nature, but typically opposition also takes the form of a character. Sometimes the opposition is another protagonist, leaving the audience to choose who they want to root for, but many stories include at least one villain, a character that is definitively “wrong”. Villains can be narrative or mechanical.
Motive, Means, and Opposition
When people criticize a story as boring they usually mean there isn’t an engaging conflict. A good conflict gives the reader something to anticipate. To create a conflict, start with a character and a goal. Give the character a motive to achieve the goal; a means to pursue it, and obstacles to obstruct the character.