Wednesday, March 24, 2010
March Madness, Part 2--Keeping An Eye On The Prize
On Monday, I discussed the importance of a coach staying in control of his players. Let's say he's managed to do so, and he's led his team right into the NCAA tournament. Now what? The coach must keep his players focused on achieving their goals. They have come into the tournament with the clearly defined external goal of winning the National Championship, right? My guess is, though, that they also each have their own set of internal goals. It's these goals that make them stronger players. As authors, we have to give our characters both external and internal goals. In my opinion, the external goals are easy. You put your characters in a story with a solid premise, and you already have the external goal. The internal goals, on the other hand, are much more difficult to develop. I spent a great deal of time during my rewrites strengthening my protagonist's internal goals. They weren't non-existent before, but they were weak and lacked depth. I think my time was well worth it. Have you spent as much time developing your characters' internal goals as you have the external ones? Yes, you say? I thought I had too, but I was wrong. Take another look. It can't hurt. In fact, it might make the difference in getting your team to the next round. Stop back by Friday for a discussion on another part of the character formula: motivation.