The Habit Blog is the archive of The Habit Weekly. It is a trove of insight, wisdom, and practical advice on a variety of writing topics.

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Desire, Choice, Consequence: Building Character Through Stories

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.

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The Correspondence Course

I’m sorry it’s been almost a week since I’ve posted here at The first few days of idleness were intentional; they were my Thanksgiving break. But on Friday, the […]

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Unlikely Heroes

I gave a talk before a reading at Nashville’s St. Paul Christian Academy last week. This is a version of that talk. That picture to the left, by the way, […]

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