Blog Post

Tying Objective Characters to the Story Goal

Jul 29th, 2018

One of the very best things you can do for your story is to tie each and every character to the Story Goal.

You do this by first identifying the Goal of the story, and then casting narrative Elements to different players. Pursuit, Faith, Proaction and Reaction, Expectation and Perception.

Those players who don't receive Elements are simply not that essential to your story. Those who receive multiple Elements move up in the crucial department.

Novelist Mike Lucas explains:

e.g. If the Element is Consider and the Goal is "becoming great bakers", maybe the character is saying "come on, let's give Dirty Jim's Baking School a try. I know it looks dodgy but it's the only one we can afford!" Or for Oppose, the character says "are you kidding? that's the third rat I've seen at this school today. this whole thing was a terrible idea!"

The Importance of the Goal

Pursuing the Goal. Having Faith in the Goal. Reconsidering the Goal and Expecting the Goal. Aligning these forces of motivation with a common enemy ensures the narrative stays focused and purposeful.

With Inception, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) Pursues the Goal of incepting scarecrow with the idea that his father wanted him to be his own man (Story Goal of Understanding). Ariadne (Ellen Page) Helps make that Goal a reality while providing the voice of Conscience as to thinking about the consequences of pursuing that inception.

Mal (Marion Cotillard) Hinders the Understanding with her own agenda, using Temptation to lure Dom away from creating that Understanding.

Objective Characters exist to showcase different approaches towards resolving the narrative's the Story Goal. To fulfill this function, always relate narrative character Elements to the Story Goal.