Recently I attended a writing workshop about the “W Plot, or the other white meat for plotters” I am still not sure what the ‘other white meat’ bit is about but…I’d taken the same class online and was eager to re-learn things in a live environment. Which did actually help in my understanding. And my understanding is this:
Without a clear goal statement, your character cannot logically move from point A (the start) to point Z (the end). I think my confusion around this goal statement business is that I’d heard it called “Story Goal” sometimes, and then “Life Goal” and even “Immediate Goal” and then if you add in the scene/sequal structure, you get another “goal.” Which may or may not be to score. Depends on the character ūüėČ
The “story goal” for each main character is what they want to get done, what they’re striving for for that specific amount of time (the length of the story). It is “actionable” and has a time constraint. For example, a detective’s goal would be “to catch the murderer by figuring out the clues¬†before someone elses dies.” One Goal Statement website (for real life, not fiction), said to state goals in a positive way. I Will do x, by doing y (the plan), before or by z time. Another example, “I will be published in the Science Fiction genre, by writing the best book I can, sending in multiple queries to¬†publishers/agents I have researched (and maybe blowing someone), by this time next year.”
“I will be promoted to Vice President by finishing this research project and showing that I saved the company thousands of dollars, by next week.”
Each major character – the hero, the heroine, the villian, gets a goal statement.
Hero – I will catch the international terrorist by chasing him down with spiffy cars and spy gadgets before he blows up the world
Heroine – I will get a notch on Hero’s bedpost by giving him information about Villian and being sexy before Hero runs out of reach – chasing after Villian
Villian – I will blow up the world by Tuesday next by spending unlawfully gained poker winnings, paying off or killing anyone in my way, before any Hero can catch me. I’ll also murder my betraying mistress regardless of what lame information she gave said Hero.
_Gotta run. More on this later. Happy Friday! ~Pongo