[Write on Wednesday] Solve Plot Problems By Starting With Desire

One of the fastest ways to find your way to the plot of a short story is to come up with a character who wants something and see how they pursue that desire.

A track athlete was participating in a tournament. Photo by Serghei Trofimov from Unsplash

The Prompt

Think of a character who wants something really, really badly. Put an obstacle in your way and let them react to it


  • No need to plan, just start there and see how quickly you can get to ‘the end’ while still entertaining yourself.
  • Think more about your character than about what might happen in the story. If they react “in character” to everything that happens, you’ll have a compelling story.
  • If you’re having trouble getting to the end of stories, remember that at some point you need to stop making things happen and let your character start making decisions (perhaps informed by the things they’ve learned so far.
  • Still having trouble getting to the end? Give yourself a limit (40 minutes of writing time or 2000 words) and force yourself to get to some kind of ending in that space. (Remember: you can fix the problems in the edit!)

If you share you story somewhere (and here’s why you might not want to) post a link here so we can come and read it.

Discussion: What did your character want? How did it affect how they acted?

Leave a comment to let us know what you wrote about today, and how it went!

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