26 September 2009

Fatal Plot Flaw

Of the 10 elements in the Character Emotional Development Profile, the one of greatest importance to the overall plot of the story is Goal.

The other elements help create conflict, tension, suspense and curiosity -- all critical to a successful story -- as well as create a three-dimensional character.

The #1 problem I find, well... perhaps that's too sweeping but I'm trying to make a point here, is that writers often neglect to create a specific goal that in turn provides specific action steps the character takes to achieve her goal. 

The Goal "to be happy" leads to a vague and meandering story. 

Instead, be specific. What does she need = goal(s) -- to make her happy? The Goal needs to be tangible and quantifiable = in other words, the reader or movie-goer must be able to determine when the character moves closer to her goal versus further away.