1. lifeisastory
    Offline

    lifeisastory Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Germany

    Is having the story goal shift a good idea?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by lifeisastory, Oct 16, 2015.

    Imagine your Charakter's story goal is getting an object from A to B and then, midway through, the MC realizes that he has to destroy the object, this becoming the new story goal. Is this too much for the reader as he is already fixated on The original goal? Should the goal be consistent no matter what or would it be interesting, kind of like a nice twist to have the goal change?
     
  2. Mallett
    Offline

    Mallett New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Absolutely a good idea, those twists make a story interesting. I think it is very common to use the character's original goal to get him on a way which ultimately leads him to a new perspective and thus new goals.
     
    lifeisastory likes this.
  3. lifeisastory
    Offline

    lifeisastory Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Germany
    Yes, thank you! I thought so too, if well done, it's probably even a nice twist for the reader who, like the main character has been fixated on the original goal for a while. And just like in real life, one event can lead to the next and so on... As long as they are interesting and somewhat connected.

    You know, the reason I was so insecure about of this is that I had been doing some research concerning plotting a novel (or any story) and found all these very stiff schemes and one of the things that was emphesized most was how every action, every sentence must either serve to illustrate a character or drive towards the story goal. Well if the goal changes halfway through, even though it might be a nice twist, many scenes or actions will have served none of the two purposes. That's what got me wondering...
     
  4. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,969
    Likes Received:
    5,491
    I don't think that the advice ("every sentence must serve...") is mandatory, but I also think that you may be taking it too literally. Some random thoughts:

    - The story goal may not be the character's goal. The character's goal may be to become Miss America; the story goal may be for her to stop needing the external validation of being Miss America.

    - The work toward one goal may turn out to be relevant to the new goal. The character's goal and the apparent story goal may be to become a master chef; maybe when the story goal shifts to fighting off alien invaders, it turns out that the master chef's kitchen skills can be applied to making the Super Spaceship-Dissolving Goo. (Yes, this one makes no sense, but it's just an example of something that appears to be relevant to Goal A turning out to be relevant to Goal B.)

    - Scenes that seem irrelevant to the apparent story goal can still illustrate the character. IMO, every scene should illustrate the character--not in some teacher-to-student, "Here, we learn that Josh is diligent and ambitious," way, but just because every scene that includes a character is, to a large degree, about the character. The character goal and the apparent story goal may be to become a master chef, and then the story goal turns out to be him brokering a peace with the invading aliens, but we got to know him very well in the master-chef part, and that makes us more interested in the new part.
     
    Viridian likes this.

Share This Page