3 Reasons To Relate A Character’s Goal To The Plot

Check out this great post from Kristina Stanley’s blog on the reasons to relate a character’s goals to the plot


Richard North Patterson has some great writing advice. I’d like to take the high-level advice and get practical with it.

Let’s link Patterson’s advice to the point of view character’s goal in every scene.
  1. Deepen characters — have a goal that relates to the story’s plot.
  2. Trim writing — cut story elements that don’t relate to the goal or the plot.
  3. Intensify scenes — have your character strive for a goal that is related to the overall plot.

1. Deepen Characters

Each scene has a point of view character. This character must have a goal for the scene. If there is no goal, then what is the character doing?

To add depth, give the character an internal and an external goal.

The reader is aware of the external goal.

A character’s internal goal is one you may or may not share with the reader. This is something the reader should be able to guess from…

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