08 August 2013

Internal Goals versus External Goals

Every character wants something. You (and your character) must decide what she is willing to give up to achieve her goal. This begins the character’s emotional development plot.

The specific actions the character takes to realize her goal comprise the dramatic action plot. Tie the character’s private passion to a bigger, more transformative universal subject, and a thematic plot is launched.

When the dramatic action changes the character over time, the story becomes thematically significant. Think of the action, character, and thematic plot lines as parts of the whole. Then separate them and assign each plot a different color sticky note on your Plot Planner.

For now, let’s concentrate on getting the front story going. The plot of a story is about a character faced with a series of conflicts and obstacles while in pursuit of a goal, which, over time, inspire her to change her choices. In the end, she is transformed, and her ultimate transformation creates her anew with a different understanding of herself and her existence.

For you to write about a character pursuing her goal, you first need to know what her goals are. Before you know how her choices will change, you must discover what motivates her choices to begin with. To write about a character’s transformation, you first must appreciate how she views herself and the world around her now, at the beginning of the story.

 The thread that keeps the reader hooked is the tension in not knowing what the protagonist will do (her choices) when confronted with the next impossible scenario. The reader thinks she knows and reads on to learn if she is right or if the story will shift into a new, though foreshadowed, direction.
(Excerpt from The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories.)


1) Track Your Plot at the Scene Level Webinar
Learn to Maximize the 7 essential plot elements in every scene (one of 7 essential plot elements in every scene is CONFLICT) from the comfort of your own home.

Knowing what to write where in a story with a plot reinforces daily writing practice and allows for more productivity in your writing. Whether writing a first draft or revising, if you falter wondering what comes next in a story with a plot, follow the prompts inThe Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing.

Today, I write.

To familiarize yourself with the basic plot terms used here and in the PW Book of Prompts:
1) Watch the plot playlists on the Plot Whisperer Youtube channel.
2) Read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master
3) Fill out the exercises in The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories
4) Visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter
Plot Whisperer on Pinterest