Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I need, you need, he, she, or it needs

needs--the personal, professional, intellectual, artistic, spiritual, and financial items a character requires or believes he requires; motivating forces that drive a character to attempt to acquire attitudes, information, relationships, goods, or a combination of these things; perceived powers, understanding, or techniques a character assesses as being necessary.

As a consequence of extraordinary needs, a character's ego and or conscience may be impacted. The simple, unalterable point is that a character without needs is not likely to produce viable story elements. Another unalterable point: a character enters any given scene with expectations, with intent, and with needs. Any time a particular character in a particular scene is not pulling his or her weight, the writer is well advised to examine the consequences of any or all these traits for vital clues leading to the discovery of what that character will do next, and to whom.

Even in plot-driven stories, this examination merits consideration because it helps provide plausible reasons for the character's behavior because the knowledgeable reader will have come to expect that the interaction of characters with intent and purpose is a better fuel for story than mere plot points.

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