In this conversation between the Twitch streamer Squeex and Dr. Alok Kanojia (also known as Dr. K), Dr. K says.
Often in stories with external goals—get the treasure, save the world, date the love interest—we also have internal obstacles.
One reason is that most problems need to be solved internally.
A character feels out of control due to circumstances: the treasure is missing, an asteroid is heading towards the earth, or they have feelings for someone.
Because of these circumstances, they want to respond: to find it, fight it, or woo them.
And sometimes, they can succeed...but sometimes, they can't.
The treasure is out of reach, the asteroid can't be destroyed, or the love interest isn't interested in them.
Eventually, the characters dig deep and discover the truth within: their inner foundations are weak and unsteady, and they must come to terms with it.
That may be realizing it isn't about the treasure but the person they are with. They must quit trying to save the world and pay attention to their family. That they need to love themselves to truly love someone else.
Sure, there are external stories, but the interesting ones are about self-growth and self-discovery, and we can all use stories to help us understand ourselves.
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