Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Writer's Wednesday: MC Goal Checklist (+ contest)

Self-portrait by AlkieBiter

I've been reading The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson and I'm getting some great information out of it.  So I thought I'd share the goal checklist with all of you.  I found this checklist particularly difficult before starting my novel, but I think forcing myself to answer these questions will make my main character stronger right from the get-go.

By the way, MC = main character.

*  What does the MC most desire?
*  What does she care about?
*  What strongly motivates her?
*  What is the MC moving toward?
*  What keeps her going, focus, committed when the going gets rough?
*  What needs to be done, saved, protected, solved, fixed, achieved, figured out, helped that she and only she can do?
*  What is her plan to accomplish that?

The question in bold I think is particularly important.  It made me realize that it's not enough simply for your MC to push through, but that she has to have a reason for doing so.

Working on answering these questions helped me more clearly define my next novel before I got started.  Have you ever done a checklist like this before starting to write?  Do you think this one will be useful to you?  Anything else you'd add?

Please stop by my blog - The Daily Harrell - to enter to win an autographed ARC of The Syndicate from Shelena Shorts.  Open Internationally.


  1. I agree--the one in bold is one of the most important, especially once you start throwing all kinds of obstacles in her way. Without the commitment and focus, your MC will just give up, retreating to the couch for a Buffy-fest with a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

  2. Great list! I'm dropping this into a file and saving it!

    As to the bolded question, stubbornnes is never enough ;-)

  3. I agree with the one you put in bold being the most important. It adds depth to the story and makes it believable.

  4. So necessary, and I always shy away from answering these questions because I know how hard it is to answer them :). Thanks for sharing!

  5. You're right -- it's so important to keep the mc's goals uppermost in his/her mind and in the mind of the reader. They can't root for victory unless they know what they're rooting for!


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