[Writing Prompt] Day 9 – Character Desires Are Key

Knowing what a character wants, tells us what’s at stake in the story. Conflict between the character’s desire and their circumstances will keep your reader hooked.

The Prompt

Establish, within the first couple of sentences, your character’s desire. Put them in a situation that conflicts with that desire. Tell us how it works out.


It’s important for a reader to know what your character wants.

Once they know what your character wants, is afraid of, would never do, or desperately wants to do, the reader knows WHY they’re reading this story. That will keep them reading.

Keep it simple. In a short story, you can only examine one of your character’s desire.

5 thoughts on “[Writing Prompt] Day 9 – Character Desires Are Key”

  1. My character is a would-be evil genius who wants to get into Evil Genius school, and doesn’t. I had the most fun writing some choice passages from the rejection letter–evil genius rejections are particularly mean!

  2. Complete, loved this prompt! I tried to think of a deep desire and came up with “connection”.

    I came up with a story about an old man (Thurston, whose name I pulled from Gilligan’s Island of all places) who hadn’t left the house in four months after having a scary accident that lost him his license and sense of independence/identity. He’s watching a coffee shop just across the street that he used to frequent, notices a woman and her daughter walking in. He later sees the daughter having a fit through the window, and Thurston sees a stuffed animal duck in the street that she must have dropped. Armed with the purpose of reuniting the girl with her duck, Thurston braves the outdoors (and oncoming traffic) to retrieve the duck, give it to the girl and save the day.

    I really focused on keeping it simple, and caught myself drifting a few times. Had a lot of fun with this one, thank you!

  3. I would encourage you all to look at the Related Posts at the bottom of today’s prompt. They’re a huge help!

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