1. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

    Feb 8, 2018
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    Discussing Characters' Dreams

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by LastMindToSanity, Jan 12, 2020.

    My goal here is simple, I want to discuss the subject of dreams, a goal that defines their actions throughout the story. Not all characters have them, but I like the ones that do. One of my character is questioned about whether or not she has a dream, because the other guy's looking for the moral high ground, and she responds that her dream is to marry the person she loves and live a happy life with them. She's mocked for this, but I think it's a perfectly fine one... for a real-life person. Let's be honest, it's not nearly as exciting as "I'm going to become a mafioso to rid my city of drugs and corruption" or "I'm going to be the kind of hero that can save everyone in front of me."

    So, for the topic: Are there dreams that shouldn't be included in high stakes adventure stories because they just don't fit, or can any dream be used to fit any scenario? Does it even matter, so long as it's used for good character building?

    Personally, I'd lean more towards the second or third answer, but that's just me.
  2. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Shenanigan Master Contributor

    Oct 13, 2016
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    Somewhere Over the Rainbow
    Hm, I think I've seen stuff about a character's motivation, which I think is essentially another word for 'dream', unless you're interpreting it slightly differently?

    I haven't yet put a lot of thoughts into defining my character's 'creams' to myself. I like to think they have them, I just have to write them a while before I can get to the point where I figure that out.

    I'm pretty character-focused in reading and writing, so I can forgive a lot of bad plotting if I like the characters. I think characters who have dreams that, at first glance, don't seem to fit the story is a neat idea. Like anything else I'd put it down to execution if it's a 'good' or 'bad' thing.
  3. TheOtherPromise

    TheOtherPromise Senior Member

    Jan 10, 2020
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    I'd say that any goal/dream should work fine in most stories. Now it might be awkward to have an impossible goal, like if you have a story set in the real world but the main character wants to be a unicorn tamer.

    But for your example of a lady who just wants to marry the one she loves and live happily, what if the one she loves is a heroic warrior. And she realizes that they don't stand a chance alone. So she chooses to stand with them regardless of the dangers, to protect her dream and the one she loves.

    Or what about a merchant who just wants to run a business, but then that pesky evil empire comes in and takes over. And they brand the merchant as a second class citizen who can't own any property. Well that creates pretty good incentive for this merchant to join the rebellion so they can get their business back.

    The point is that the conflict needs to present an obstacle to the goal. As long as that is the case it should be perfectly workable.

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