[Writing Prompt] Wants, Needs, Desires

Every character (every story) wants/needs/desires something.
Every story needs this desire to be pursued, frustrated, attained, or pursued again.
In the process the character or situation changes.
That’s what story is.
This week I’m providing you with a list of needs. You choose a character and a situation in which they can pursue that need.

The Prompt

Your character needs a lot of money, fast.


  • Before you write a word, sketch some notes on who your character is, why they need the money, why they need it quickly.
  • Think about what your character believes will happen when they have the money. What has your character failed to realize?
  • Why doesn’t your character have money now? You may or may not want to weave this information into the story, but you should probably know it.
  • What obstacles stand in the way of your character getting rich, quickly?
  • What three things will your character try to get the money?
  • Which ones will work? Which ones won’t? Why?
  • Is the story that is forming in your head tragic? Humorous? Poignant? Thrilling? Romantic?
  • Try to enter the story as late as you can. Don’t introduce the problem first. Start with your character’s abortive first effort to get money and feed us the information as you go through the actions.


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