How was your weekend? Mine was pretty much the same–weekly shopping trip, comics, crosswords, and what-have-ya.
Anyway, let’s get to it. I didn’t really think of my own life in terms of somebody else’s.
Until I remembered that my brother is 20. As in years old, the number between 19 and 21, the big Two Oh.
I won’t embarrass him with any stories (not that he reads Fiction and Copy Decoded–at least I don’t think he does).
Besides, most of those stories are ones I was in too, so it kinda defeats the purpose–not to mention the fact that he doesn’t embarrass easily and probably wouldn’t care if I did tell stories. (He’s cool like that).
But I couldn’t help thinking about my own life. My brother’s been here for two whole decades already. Where am I in my life? Where do I want to be in a couple years? Or 5? Or even 10?
The answers to those questions vary from person to person, but they do have to be answered. If they’re not (and I’m still wrestling with this), things can get pushed along, and you may not recognize yourself or your life, or may be in place(s) or situation(s) that you don’t like.
So what’s my point? Not that this is a motivational post, but if you want to draw up a plan and rock it, feel free.
This desire to be better–or to be in a different place or circumstance–is a HUGE motivator for prospects in business, or characters in a fiction story.
It’s why people buy study guides for tests. Or take online courses, teach themselves something, or try to lose weight. This feeling can be plugged into almost any market where people have a problem they want to solve (which is most of them). If someone’s frustrated, they generally try to relieve the source of that frustration, some way or other.
For fiction, this is just as huge. Characters in situations that are too familiar may want a change (or they may have a problem they want or need to solve). What happens next? Conflict, as it clangs swords with other characters, the setting, and any of a number of different factors. Not really, but depending on the story, fictional swords may actually clash.
So the next time you’re stuck on a subject line, character sketch, or what-have-ya, ask yourself:
“Why does this character or prospect want to change XYZ? And how would their life be different if that changed for the better?”
Even if the “character” you’re thinking of is you.
And if you’d like, drop me a line in the comments with your thoughts.
Until next time,