Creating Compelling Characters

Part Three

Character Goals

The third Aspect of Character are your character’s Goal.

Goals can be broken into two categories:

  • Internal
    1. What they want to do
  • External
    1. What they need to do

A character’s goals are intertwined with the two important arcs within your story.

The Internal Goal is driven by the character’s arc.

The External Goal is driven by the story arc.

Here’s an example:

A king governing a kingdom. His external goal is to bring peace between his kingdom and the neighboring kingdom they have been at war with.

But his internal goal is to keep his daughter from being able to marry the other kingdom’s crown prince.

In this example, the story arc would involve how said king weaves his politics and interpersonal relationships to stop a war. But what if one of the ways to stop that war is to marry his daughter to their prince? And what if that’s the last thing in the world that he wants?