I feel like I’m in a karate match.
I keep approaching the challenger
(the story)
from different angles,

Trying To Win.
(write the story well)

Approach…Haaaayyyah!
New approach…Haaaaayyyyah!
Still another approach…Hhaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyah!!!!

I keep returning to
Three Words
that make my character make sense
to the reader:

Goal.
Motivation.
Conflict.

External Goal.
What does my character NEED to do,
on the outside?

(What world is he saving?
Who is he helping?
What does he have to get, at all costs?)

Internal Goal. 
What does my character NEED to do,
on the inside?

(What HAS to change,
to make his troubled heart feel settled
and make his heart leave the angst behind?)
(And can it be left behind?)

Motivation.
WHY is he doing this?
What happened to my character
to make the angst — to DRIVE him to pull out the stops, at all cost?

(Why is my character so angsty, anyway?
Who wronged him?
What fell apart?
What pierced his heart and made him not believe in people?
What screwed him up and put him in a place where he’s so driven?)

Conflict.
What’s keeping him from
getting to the goal?
What stands in his way — physically?
What stands in his way — emotionally?

(What does he want that he can’t have
because it goes directly against his values?)

With our characters,
we all have to be psychologists.
(Put them on the couch.)

And ask questions.
And ask.
And ask.
And ask.
(get answers.)

Dig deeper.
Discover the psyche.
Make them full.
Real.
Driven.
Haunted.
Pulled and pushed.

Back to the mats.
(Haaaaaaaayyyah!)

*Thup
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