What do they seek in their everyday lives? What goal is clear and which ones are the foggiest?
Do they seek enjoyment or something mundane yet still overall interesting? Does your protagonist or antagonist desires something that is far beyond their reach?
Tell me, what does your protagonist and antagonist want most of their lives?
Lend me your thoughts!
I am going to use my newer untouched story in order to better understand what the character wants and needs are.
Ryker Atlas wants freedom, make his own decisions in life, and to discover a truth about the world instead of believing the same old lies. Lilianna Florentine wants revenge, to commit a heinous crime that will ruin her family’s livelihood along with hers, and to stop the injustice of the world that nobody seems to give a crap about.
The Dawn Frontier want to overthrow every monarchy and toss the world into chaos in order to change society as a whole.
The High Order(might change the name) wants to turn everyone in the world into a believer of faith and slaughter anyone who dares defy them.
My protagonist is a divorcée whose husband left her for a younger woman. She stalks him, wanting to get back together, and then runs into his sister, who’s had plastic surgery and looks twenty years younger. So my protag decides to get surgery too, and becomes ravishing. She then tries to get her ex back until realizing she’s becoming the thing she hates most–the other woman. She comes to her senses and forgets about him.
So what she wants most is her husband, but what she needs most is her own independence and self-esteem…?
As for my antagonist, I’m thinking now that the only antagonist in this book is her own demons, but I may be wrong. Someday I need to hire a book coach to tell me wtf I’m writing.
My protagonist’s main goal is to figure out who he is as a person while simultaneously convincing other people that he even is a person and not just a product (he’s a synthetic). As more like him are made, his goal will expand to helping his species find their individuality and liberating them from human control. His secondary goals will be learning as much as he can about anything and everything, and helping to save the human race (even though he has quite a bit of resentment for them) by finding new worlds for them to live on, since Earth is dying and nearly uninhabitable by this point.
The antagonist I have in mind, at least for the first book, has a main goal of gaining power and exerting it over others. This leads him to help create synthetics. By creating something that is, for all intents and purposes, a person, but legally, just a machine/tool/product, he can hold power over another person and mistreat them without having to worry about getting in trouble with the law or having people judge his morals for it. Basically he is obsessed with power and control and his goal is to be able to flex that over other people without any consequences.
That’s the broad view of their goals, but of course, they have other goals and motivations and they all interconnect and evolve as things change or get in the way. It’s much more complex than that, and honestly, I had a hard time simplifying and explaining the basic gist of it.
Lol, this complex, depending on who we are talking about:
Overall my kids tend to not have a lot of goals, they earn those as they mature. Young adults are the same. Wants are circumstances.
In The Game of the Gods
The lizard’s wants are for life to just meander the way it’s already been, but coworkers let loose that everyone saw her and her partner as an established relationship, so she’s facing something that is changing on pretty much every level as crap gets thrown at them.
The second book is over one of the first haflings also being a simple life person who has bonded with a dark elf who is too complex and it’s changing her.
Third one is a half-dwarf who has everything stripped from her as she becomes the other half of herself and is forbidden from telling her lover that she’s still herself. But if the 3, her wants was stabilized offspring, which is what elves offer in that world. Quite literally she asks an elf for babies to hopefully have more dwarflike children than her because she has to wear a primitive exosuit just to keep up with full dwarven siblings.
So, not really a lot of wants, to start off with. But it fast becomes a mess.
In the Assassin’s Journals, her first goals are made complex while she’s been simple:
Basically, she just wants to earn her position as an Assassin, and the job just beats that up, dragging in her passions (of which one is statistics), which means that she shifts from just wanting to complete her work to wanting to rehaul the whole of the way Assassin’s work.
Somewhere it goes beyond her caring if she’s qualified to thinking most everyone who could qualify her has their head up their ass.
Which we’ve all been there. We learn a job in anxiety, and then figure out our bosses are incompetent. I don’t ever explain it like this, but it’s not too hard to pick up on.
I don’t have an antagonist XD
I’m answering from the POV of my two protagonists.
Assuming this is at a ‘normal’ time, outside of the story.
Sara wants to help other people, but also take care of herself. She wants to make life better, but she needs to be able to take a break away from it all.
Malika, similarly, loves helping other people. She just wants to be known for her work in bettering lives, and she cares about it so much that she will totally burn herself out and not give time to herself - a direct result of her upbringing.
Both of them also want to help each other heal from some major, hard choices they had to make which led to their emotions being really unstable - Sara’s more so than Malika’s, tho.
Overall in live, Sara just wants to LIVE. Like enjoy her life to the fullest, so that she has no regrets later.
Malika wants to leave a mark on the world - one that says that she was here, and she was generous, kind and caring.
Those are great names! I love them I’ve always thought Ryker or Riker are cool names and Atlas is a cool name and now here they are together! And I love names with “lily” in them and Florentine is a beautiful name, too.
Okay, here’s my protag and antag from Lunar Heart, Shadow Bound.
Protag: Pinti wants to do the “eye for an eye” and get revenge on her enemies in order to protect her race from extinction. She wants to find the moonstone and get its power before her enemies do. She would do anything to protect her race. Anything. Even bloodshed. Every time Thorn comes to prevent her from getting closer, it only drives her even more. She’s too stubborn to give up and too angry with revenge to hand over the moonstone.
Antag Thorn needs to prevent Pinti from getting the moonstone but at the same time, he wants her to get the moonstone and use her power. But he will do anything to prevent her because that is what he must do for his destiny and her destiny (which are entwined) to work as planned. So, he can’t kill her to get the moonstone. It’s a bit tricky for him.
My antagonist is dead. She’s been dead for a long time. Sylvia Halloway wanted to save the world first, more than anything else. But after trying for years, she realized that the world was past solving, so she decided to end the world instead—and she ended herself with it.
My narrator hates Sylvia, because she took everything away from them. They want revenge, but that’s impossible because Sylvia’s dead, so instead they’re unravelling the mystery to the readers (or “lost ones,” the other dead) to ruin Sylvia’s reputation.
My various protagonists all survived the end of the world for different reasons, and now they just want to survive everything, because the world’s magic went all out of whack when Sylvia ended everything and now it’s a dangerous, lonely place.
Right now I am working on a psychological horror story written in a form of a diary. I guess answering to these could prove useful in fleshing out my character, the imaginary author of said diary, further in my head.
In a nutshell, the answer would be this:
but in whole different context.
In first half of the story, this nameless author writes about a hobby she got into ever since childhood: namely, stalking people, with them being complete strangers. She is interested in psychology and enjoys analysing people from afar, by observing their daily habits, conversations, and quirks. At this point, her goal is crystal clear, with the hobby still being harmless.
In second half, however, as she becomes an university student - this time being more mature and independent - her until now hidden curiosity starts to appear. She begins wondering how it would be like to take someone else’s life. At first, the idea was a mere dark thought, but later it will turn into the kind of sadistic desire that turns her on sexually. Thus, her main goal becomes finding a victim who is isolated to the point of being friendless, also without any close family around, and then seeing how the world would react after this person suddenly ‘disappeared’. This process includes, of course, tons of research and preparation for the murder.
Her secondary goal is figuring out what’s ‘wrong’ with her. She is genuinely convinced there’s nothing morally questionable in her doings; she even believes that would be a favor to the victim. In other words, she doesn’t feel guilt, but is intellectually aware that she is ‘different’.