want—have a desire to possess or do
need—require because it is essential or very important
desire—a strong feeling of wanting to have something happen or wishing for something
What do you want?
How does it drive you?
What do you need?
Do you know the difference?
Human beings are driven by wants, needs, and desires. They fuel us. We work for them. They make us reach far past where we ever thought we could go.
What do your characters want?
Have you thought about it?
I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.
Just like we have our own wants, our characters want things too. Or they should. If you can’t define what your characters want, you have a problem. Want is what drives our stories. It creates opportunity for progress. Even without being aware of it at times; want pushes.
What do your characters need?
It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.
Want is not the same as need. Need is immediate. If you want to drive your character, give them a need, because it cannot be put off or planned for. It cannot be shoved to the side until a more opportune time. Need must be satisfied and creates instant drama. It doesn’t push; it shoves.
What do your characters desire?
Desire and force between them are responsible for all our actions; desire causes our voluntary acts, force our involuntary.
No, that that kind of desire … well maybe that kind of desire, but not always.
Desire reaches farther than want, but is more subtle than need. It speaks to our soul and its fulfillment creates a kind of satisfaction that will leave a reader breathless. Have you read a story and found your heart beating faster and an ache in your gut? Desire doesn’t push or shove us, it draws us in and surrounds us until need and want are so mixed together that there is no distinction.
Do you want to create that feeling with your own writing? Think about your characters’ desires. Careful. They might not have any idea what they really are.
But you should.
Think about your favorite fictional character. What did they want/need/desire? How did it drive their story?
Thanks for reading,