1. lifeisastory
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    lifeisastory Member

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    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. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    No, I don't think that would confuse anybody.

    The only way that would fail, I think, is if you left out whatever pivotal scene that brings about the priority shift in the first place. If characters randomly change their goals for no explicable reason, yeah, you'd lose your audience. If the reader is able to follow along? Should be fine.
     
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  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree, it would be weird. But what if you focus on the motivation WHY he has to bring it from A to B. Then how would the realization affect his decitions? Like, if he has a valid motive for doing so, and THAT is the actual story goal, how would he reach that goal when he has to destroy it and by that working against his own needs?
     
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  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It's not a good idea or bad idea in and of itself. The only thing that really matters is the execution of it.
     
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  5. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Really depends on how much time you dedication to objective A and how connected it is to objective B. For example if your objective is to like rescue someone I would expect it not to shift to finding the TMNT. And I wanna be sure I know why the focus shift happens
     
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  6. lifeisastory
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    lifeisastory Member

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    That is very helpful, actually. So you're saying the goal shouldn't be the Action itself but the Motivation. And whatever measures must be taken to fulfil that Motivation can Change, of course depending on the angle you see the issue from.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    As others said, it depends on the motivation. If the character realizes that the object they were carrying from Point A to Point B will, in fact, destroy the world/the city/do very bad things, then I would expect the character to think, 'Gee, maybe I should kind of sort of do something about this.' If they continued with the original goal, I would assume they were (a) an idiot, (b) didn't care about the risk, or (c) was taking a huge gamble that the object in question wouldn't spread doom and chaos to all.
     
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  8. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Exactly. Of course it's difficult without knowing what you had actually thought initially, but like link says:

    So if your characters goal is to save the world by bringing something from A to B, and then realizes it will actually destroy it, it's natural that he will think of a new plan to avoid this. (So in this case changing plans would be logical) It doesn't change the ultimate goal though, he still wants to save the world, but now he not just have to come up with a new way to do that, he also has to deal with this potential danger he's carrying along and how he will stop it from getting in the wrong hands.
    I don't know if this could apply to your idea?
     
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  9. lifeisastory
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    lifeisastory Member

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    Right, I think I just understood a major factor in plot development. As Link The Writer (I have no idea how to add further links otherwise I would link him in This place) said, in this example the Story Goal wouldn't be getting the object from point A to B but the effect this action is supposed to have. If, for instance it was saving the world and the hero realizes that the named action does not have The planned effect, not only would he have to destroy The object but also find another way to accomplish the Story Goal ;) it's about the WHY not the HOW.

    no, my story couldn't be further away from that :D it's about an 8 year old boy who has to move in with his aunt and her boyfriend who, he learns, despises him. At first, the Story Goal is defeating home-sickness and getting in a comfortable place with the aunt's boyfriend but then it turns into kind of a low fantasy adventure, obviously with a different Story Goal. Once the adventure is over, time will have passed, the boy can return to his mother and so the original Story Goal will have solved itself on its own ;)
     
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