At writing seminars everywhere, writing teachers are giving stuck story-writers the same advice: “Ask yourself, ‘What is it that my character wants?’”
Why? Because once you know what a character wants, you know what choices he or she is likely to make. Once your character starts making choices, consequences follow. And then a story begins to take shape.
Desire. Choice. Consequence. That’s what a story is made of.
When we speak of the other kind of character—an individual’s character or integrity—we’re usually talking about the choices that person makes. A person of character chooses the good over the bad, the better over the good, the best over the better, whatever the circumstances. And why does a person make such choices? Because he or she wants what is good or better or best.