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David Gane
David Gane

A character's want can never exist in a vacuum. Otherwise, they'd immediately get what they want.

But it doesn't have to create CONFLICT! It can make a problem, a challenge, a difficulty, or a conflict (not written in ALL CAPS).

They can be other people, each with their own wants, obstacles, actions, and responses.

They can be inner desires, drives, emotions, or memories.

They can be time, distance, or physical objects that stand in our way, like a wall.

They can be other things—contrived and forced—but if we want to be good writers, we want to avoid those things.

And once the obstacle is maneuvered or removed, our character can proceed to the next stage of getting closer to their wants.


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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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