What do you want for Christmas? I'm not talking about a gift that's under the tree or stuffed deep into the toe of a stocking. I'm talking about something much greater -- your deepest wish. What do you want more than anything else in the world?
When developing a fictional character, this is the most important question for a writer to ask. At this moment, what does this character want more than anything else in the world? The answer will drive your character forward, the decisions that she makes, and the determinations to make it to the end. It will determine what obstacles your character will face on his journey. Ultimately, it drives your entire story.
Without this deepest desire, characters will remain flat. They will simply react to their circumstances in an effort to survive than push forward for something greater. Desire pushes us towards our goals in life. It drives us all to make the decisions we make. Without that motivation, our characters become lazy. They don't want to go anywhere or make anything better.
Dig deep and discover what drives your characters to make the decisions they make. There's always a reason. As writers, we just have to find it.
WRITING PROMPT: Set aside the biographical data that you have collected for your main character. Open up a journal and put yourself in the shoes of that character. If he were writing about the experience in her diary, what would he say about his secret wish? What does she want more than anything else in the world? How does this impact your entire story?
May all your writing dreams come true.