All characters want something. They are always moving towards something—even before your story begins.
When your story starts, everyone you introduce us to already wants something—and they are likely already in conflict because some obstacle stands in their way from getting it.
It can be anything: world peace, happiness, a buried treasure. Big or small, meaningful to the world or only to the individual, it doesn’t matter. We are all seeking something.
Because we are born this way. We come into the world wanting love, food, warmth, or sleep. As one want disappears, another appears. Wants grow as we grow. Change as we change. Lasting only a few hours or an entire lifetime.
So as you unpack your character, whether you plan them out or discover them as you write, understanding what they want—what they’ve always wanted—is your key to unlocking them.