Rush For The Goal

Have you ever seen anything more dedicated than sports parents that attend all of their kids games? You see them with lawn chairs, blankets, hats, mittens, umbrella’s, sunblock… You name it, they’ve probably carried it across some field to a remote corner of the world all for the love of their kid.

Me, I’m a baseball mom at this time of year. Basically, that means I have donated my life to dust, sunflower seeds, rain, sun and preschool biffy runs for the next three months.

But it is all worth it to see your kid get a home run or score the winning goal. You will see me jumping up and down and cheering right along with the other parents. Last year I lost my voice by the second game of the end of the year tournament. Still, my frog croak could be heard across the field when my son’s team won their league championship.

Proud MOM? What do you think?

No, I didn’t just write this blog to brag about my oldest son, but hey it was fun!

We authors need just a little bit more baseball mom in our writing. I’m not talking about the enthusiasm, although that is important too. I’m talking about Focus on the goal. If the kids just got out on the field and ran around, never trying to score it would be rather boring to watch.

Our characters need to fight for a goal in every scene, too. Otherwise, there is nothing for them to aim toward in the scene. I learned a lot about Author vs. Characters at http://www.mybooktherapy.com/ .

There are two kinds of scene goals:

Author Goals:  What the author wants to achieve in that scene. It usually either shows character journey or plot advancement, sometimes both.

Character Goals: The goal the Point of View character wants to achieve in that scene.

Ask your character why they are in this scene. Sometimes we plan a scene around our goals as a writer and we forget the character must have a goal in a scene as well or their is no tension. Lack of tension means the reader may choose to put it down.

Once the goal is in place, you can create tension for the scene by giving the Point of View character obstacles that stand in the way of reaching their goal.

Example of author goal:  To show that Liz is unwilling to open her heart to a relationship.

Example of character goal:  To get through the speed dating event her friend brought her to without ending up with a   blind date.

Setting a character goal is key for setting up tension in your scenes.

What are some examples of author and character goals?

*Need more help with Character vs. Author goals: http://www.mybooktherapy.com/

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About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

6 thoughts on “Rush For The Goal

  1. jeannemt says:

    Fun example, Michelle, using a baseball/sports mom to show motivation and goals and focus. 🙂 I’ve thought about the need to author and character goals for each scene. This is just a quick general example, but an author could have a goal for girl to meet boy. Girl’s goal could just be to buy a cup of coffee to get her going for the day, because that’s what she always does on her way to work.

    And then, of course, on THIS day, there’s something that happens that brings about the meet-cute, and puts a wrinkle in her day. 🙂 That’s my feeble attempt at a quick example. 🙂

  2. Michelle Lim says:

    Great example, Jeanne.

  3. Beth K. Vogt says:

    I try to write out my author goal and my character goal before each chapter/scene. It helps me stay focused.

  4. Michelle Lim says:

    Great Strategy, Beth!

  5. Michelle, you know by now, I have a goal for every scene and then an obstacle! lol You really ought to put this in a book…just sayin’…

  6. Michelle Lim says:

    Yeah…those crit buddies get to you, eh? Yes, I do love Goals and Obstacles. Thanks for the compliment, Pat!

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