No, not the car maker. Goal, Motivation, Conflict. The “wants, because, but” aspect of character development.
Sarah WANTS to go to Hawaii BECAUSE she needs a vacation. Work has been stressful BECAUSE her boss is a micro-managing jerk. She is lonely BECAUSE she hasn’t got time to go out and meet anyone BECAUSE she’s working all the time trying to please her boss and keep her job. BUT she cannot go to Hawaii BECAUSE her boss may not give her the time off BECAUSE she took time off to go to a funeral. Her car broke down BECAUSE it’s a clunker BECAUSE that’s all she can afford, so the money she was going to use to go to Hawaii is now gone. BUT she really wants to go to Hawaii BECAUSE she needs a vacation.
nope, not buying it.
Okay, she wants to go to Hawaii. What’s in Hawaii that makes her want to be there so desperately? What is so important about going to Hawaii specifically? Is it that she’s got a boyfriend there and she desperately needs/wants to see him before he ships off somewhere [which would make her boyfriend in the military. More about him next.] or perhaps the funeral is in Hawaii [and therefore the trip to is unexpected] and she desperately needs to be there because the person who died is her best friend from school and they made a BFF promise to be together always, especially at important life events like weddings, child-birth, and death. Unfortunately this death has come before either of the other two great life events. Yes.
So – our girl needs to go to Hawaii for the funeral of her bff, BUT she cannot BECAUSE her boss is a jerk and she has no money. So, she needs to decide quickly what to do. Her options are: call in sick for a week and go anyway, which would get her fired. Not go and just send flowers, maybe visit the grave site later. Take a leave without pay and go. But if she takes a leave without pay – assuming her boss would accept that idea – she’d not be getting paid so she might as well quit and go, as she doesn’t really like her job anyway. Money obstacal: Borrow money from her parents. Sell her car – which is broken anyway. Clear out her savings account. Get a job elsewhere, or beg for her job back once she returns from Hawaii. Or don’t come back from Hawaii and find a job there.
SO – her motivation is her promise to her friend
Goals: She wants to go to Hawaii at the start of the story. She wants to meet and have a relationship with a good man. She wants a new job, which gives her enough money to get a new car and make a living without working more than 40 hours a week.
Motivations: Promise to her friend. Loneliness. Stress.
Conflicts (internal): She’s conflicted about leaving the security of her job to keep a promise made when she was a kid. The adult business person in her tells her that keeping a childhood promise is silly. Just send the flowers and let it go at that. If she loses her job over this, she’ll be a failure. If she quits without moving up into a better job, she’ll be a failure. And she’ll be poor and homeless and pathetic.
She doubts she will ever meet a man, good/bad/indifferent, because all she does is work. Work is who she thinks she is supposed to be; e.g. a successful career woman who can go toe-to-toe with any man in the workplace. All the men in her workplace are not even on her radar for possible romantic partners because they too are all about work, and most are married or have girlfriends or both.
However. Her beliefs: She believes in keeping promises (honor), in working hard (endurance), in long-lasting love (romantic), in truth/justice/fair-dealing(integrity). She’s competitive in the workplace because she thinks she has to be.
[Correction to above: Friend who died did marry, and girl did attend the wedding, but it was 4 years ago. She’s only seen her friend once since then. The frequency of letters, phone calls, emails has fallen since the wedding. Friend’s husband is largely an unknown.]
Lies she tells herself: Work is life. Women have to be aggressive/competitive to make it ahead at work. She doesn’t have time for a relationship, and men are unfaithful and uncaring. Her job is good because it pays her rent and is prestigious. She’s a in-house corporate lawyer, the junior of five, working for a not so shiny company that makes something not so healthy but claims it is.
Besides the bad car (which looks good but is a lemon), she’s got school debt and credit card debt.
The company she works for makes something, a portion of which comes from Hawaii (although she doesn’t realize it). The manufacturing of that thing is causing environmental damage to the rainforest, but her company has lied about it and she’s lied about it for them. When she goes to Hawaii she meets her guy, and somehow he leads her to find out that her job which she abandoned was actually evil which makes her feel better about herself. She goes to work for the environmental agency suing her old company (switched sides). Now friend buried (promise complete), man met/relationship started, job guilt resolved = HEA.
>add suspense/danger/excitement re: manufacturing company and environmental issue
Guy. In military (marines?) because he wants to make a difference in the world. Believes in truth, justice, American way, respect, honor etc. His skills are needed to help girl sneak in to manufacturing company to find the truth that her dead friend’s husband posited: Manufacturing Company made toxin that caused BFF to die.
Husband is ex-marine and friends with guy. Guy and girl meet at reception after funeral service. Husband and girl get into an argument over husband’s belief that company is evil. In fact, husband didn’t want girl to come to funeral at all because he knows girl works for company and he thinks she’s probably horrible too, after all – she’s a lawyer and all lawyers are horrible. Guy supports husband, because that’s what teammates do. Girl says she’ll prove that company didn’t make the toxin that killed bff.
Guy wants X because Y but Z. Guy is single because he hasn’t found a woman who’s willing to fight for something. Most want him to fight for them.