Blog Post

Where Wants And Needs Come From

Sep 17th, 2015

I don't show who a character is, I show what a character wants. They have to want it bad. If they can NEED it that's even better. AARON SORKIN

How can you argue with the man behind the insanely-great looking movie Steve Jobs?

Steve Jobs

Well, you don't have to ... but you can elaborate on this popular notion of wants vs. needs:

The reason why want vs. need fails for creative writers is because it is an interpretation of meaning after the fact. Much like the dueling concepts of learning Heroes and teaching Heroes, these interpretations of a story’s events spring forth as the credits roll. The concept functions after the first draft or two as it makes the final message concrete, but is that helpful when staring at a blank page?

In my article The Mechanics of Want vs. Need I discuss where the difference between these two lies in story structure and how to differentiate between the two before you even get started.