Thursday, June 23, 2011

What Does Your Character Want?

Does your character want something so badly it aches?  Do they want something so desperately they cry thinking about it?

What are they willing to do to get that?

Are they willing to move across the country even if they really can't afford it?  Are they willing to admit defeat and give up on the dream or desire?

At what point will they settle for second- or fifth-best because the odds against getting what they want are insurmountable?

Are you as the author willing to push them to that point and see if they break?

I'm going through this struggle in my real life right now.  I know the point at which I'll break.  I sometimes wonder if Heavenly Father wants to see if I break this time or if I can push to a new breaking point and not break.

Right now, I'm looking for a job.  It's not pretty, the war that rages in my head every time I click through my links of various job boards.  I went to a conference on Saturday that was not a writer's conference.  This was a religious conference.  One of the workshops I attended was on landing the job you want.  Some 40,000 jobs created last month?  That's great!  Oh, but 220,000 new job seekers entered the market.  Sigh.

At one point, the man teaching the workshop ran through a bunch of questions all meant to help us figure out what career we want.

Guess what my answers told me?  Well, 2 things.  Writer and agent/editor.

Crazy, right?  But the answers were there plain and simple.  You know what really stinks, though?  The fact that there isn't a whole lot of publishing industry here where I live.  It exists.  There are some literary agencies and three magazines.

I'm at that point where I know what I want, I want it so desperately I want to cry, and I can't have it.  The roadblocks are insurmountable.

Are your characters at that point?  Are they headed for that point?


  1. The trick is knowing what they (and YOU) will do if they break. Sometimes breaking reveals the awesomeness inside. Like a hard candy shell on smooth, creamy ice cream. Or the coal that encases a rough diamond.

    Maybe Heavenly Father's just trying to crack that exterior to reveal the beauty within.

  2. Wow. Ali's comment pretty much says it all. Good luck, Stephanie. I know you'll come through all right! And don't ever give up on what you want so badly.

  3. Okay, I'm gonna have to hand it to Ali on this one too. Ditto. I was just about to sum up something similar in a nowhere-near-as-elegant manner, but she's really said it all. I know what it's like to have that overwhelming need/desire to write, and to get your work out there. I know what it's like to wonder if it's even in the cards. If it ever will be. Hang in there - sometimes it's that very persistence that separates the achievers.
    BTW, my hubby was out of work for six months, but we were so blessed during that time. Blessings will come to you too. Keep the faith, and good luck in your search.:)


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