Raise your hand if you love to be bored. What’s this, you
say? You don’t like wandering around
the house, puttering aimlessly at half a dozen jobs, flipping through TV channels and finding zero of interest, or poking
around the ’Net and smacking your head against the keyboard with the sheer
futility of it all?
Reasons your character may lack purpose
When your character has no goal...
Matt slept in until noon on Saturday morning. When he woke, he yawned and stretched. He had the whole day off and nothing planned. Sounded like just what the doctor ordered. He took his time getting dressed in his most comfy clothes, then he made himself a leisurely breakfast of eggs Benedict. When that was done, he left the dishes in the sink and wandered to the yard. He should probably mow the grass, but he’d rather just enjoy his day. He flopped down on the hammock and watched the clouds meander by.
Hear that snorkeling sound? That’s your reader snoring.
Use purpose to bring boring scenes to life
Matt slept in until noon on Saturday morning. When he woke, he yawned and stretched. He had the whole day off—and he would need every minute to prepare for Viola’s visit that evening. The future of their relationship hinged on how well their time together went. He threw on some clothes and grabbed a Pop-Tart on his way outside. First thing on his list was mowing his overgrown mess of a lawn.
Tell me your opinion: Do you like to identify your character’s goal before you start writing scene—or do you identify the goal as you’re writing?
Related Posts: How You May Be Killing Your Story’s Tension
How to Spot and Fix Non-Reactive and Over-Reactive Characters
The Case of the Vanishing Setting
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Story by K.M. Weiland