Character Values, Ambitions, and Goals

Here I am on Day 2 of rediscovering my blogging groove!

I was almost stumped for today’s post, as the idea is to answer a question from one of my readers. My blog is fairly new. I don’t have many readers or followers yet, so I didn’t have any questions to pull from. Instead, what I’m going to do is share with you a link to Randy Ingermanson’s blog where he answered a question of mine last month. He’s an awesome guy who is full of knowledge on the craft of writing, so I recommend checking out his blog anyway. (He and Larry Brooks are my go-to guys for writing info – they both have a down-to-earth approach to writing, and I can always find inspiration and helpful advice from them.)

My question to Randy involved the values, ambitions, and goals of my characters. Before I send you off to his blog, I’ll give you an idea of what I’m talking about:

The value of a character is a simple truth, something that is more important to them than anything else on the planet. It’s good for the story, and for character development, to give your character two or more values that conflict with one another. Then later you can make ’em squirm when they have to choose between one or the other.

An ambition is something that your character wants very badly – but the character’s ambition isn’t concrete. It’s an abstract thing, something intangible and vague. The character’s ambition should sprout from their value.

The character’s goal is their solid plan of action, how they will go about achieving their ambition.

All three of these things should link up and give you the focus of your story.

I’ve spent a lot of time developing my character’s values, ambitions, and goals, and it’s something that really bogs me down. I have trouble with it. My confusion started when I realized, “Hang on a sec… won’t some of these things change throughout the story?” I wasn’t sure if I should be focusing on what their goals were before the story started, after, or both. So, I asked Randy. And he gave me an awesome answer.

Click the link below to read my question on Randy’s blog:

Values, Ambitions, and Goals for Your Character

Hope you find this helpful! :)



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