Thursday, July 29, 2010

What Do They Want?

A tweet today from author James Scott Bell gave me chills. He wrote, “Every character in every scene should have an agenda, even if it’s just to close the window.”

Now that is some good advice people.

No one reads a story to hear about happy people sitting around utterly content with everything that’s going on around them. We want to read about desperate people, people with problems, people who want something. Because the reason we keep turning the pages is to find out if they ever get it.

Make sure your characters – all of your characters – want something.

This goes for dialogue as well. A conversation where two people are simply updating one another on facts is booooring. In every conversation, one of your characters must want something from the other character (if they both want something froom the other, even better), whether it’s information or affirmation or adoration. Something.

Thank you, Mr. Bell.

Now excuse me while I go tattoo that quote on the insides of my eyeballs.

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