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Inner wants shape your character's lives

David Gane
David Gane

We probably have 5–7 significant movements throughout our lives, shaped by the deep abstract internal that move us forward. For example:

  • as a baby, we might want security and love.
  • as a child, we might want independence.
  • as a teen, we might want social connections.
  • as an adult, we might want security.
  • as a senior, we might want a legacy.

These inner wants extend past the edges of our stories. They drive the character before the story begins and will continue afterward. Your character's desire for them can never be quenched—only shifted or replaced.

And always remember that your characters hold deep inner desires no matter what, so figuring it out and controlling it is your best strategy.


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Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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