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Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Process of Writing: Part 12

Last time we talked about the concept of the Problem/Need of your protagonist: the good guy. This time we will focus on the Desire.

Ask yourself what exactly is desire? In this discussion let’s define desire as an intense longing for, a deep craving that pushes or pulls your character through the lines of your manuscript.

The Desire is the particular goal of the protagonist in the story. It is what your hero wants outside of his or herself. In the best manuscripts this desire is often discovered in the end to be bad.  As writers, we must keep in focus while developing the story, that it is the protagonist’s need, solving the problem, which is truly necessary to be fulfilled or satisfied and not the desire.

Consider the character of Luke Skywalker of Star Wars fame. His driving desire was to get revenge on the Empire for having killed his aunt and uncle and before that the death of his father. But as the story and the trilogy are developed we discover along with Luke that his true Need/Problem was the redemption of his father and the discovery and protection of his long lost sister.

In my novel N.H.I.: No Humans Involved, my protagonist, Nate Richards’ problem is to solve the new series of murders, but his desire is to impress his command and become a new hotshot investigator.

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