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Start your free trial to access 100+ popular goals found in fiction and film, as well as the roadblocks, stakes, costs, and personal impacts that may be associated with each.
A compelling goal is one of the cornerstones of strong fiction, but conveying why the character is driven to achieve it is what draws readers in and makes them care. Explore all angles of character arc by digging deep into what is motivating your protagonist, the obstacles that could stand in their way, and how sacrifices may play a role if the character is to succeed.
*Dark Motivations: These are unhealthy or negative goals commonly embraced by villains or protagonists pursuing a false motivation (one they believe will fulfill them but ultimately will not).
*Kidlit Motivations: Goals like these are often pursued by children and young adults and frequently occur in stories written for those age groups.
ACHIEVING DOMINION OVER ANOTHER (DARK)
ACHIEVING SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT
BEATING A DIAGNOSIS OR CONDITION
BECOMING THE SOLE POWER OR AUTHORITY (DARK)
BEING ACKNOWLEDGED OR APPRECIATED BY FAMILY
BREAKING PEOPLE SO THEY ABANDON THEIR BELIEFS (DARK)
COMING TO GRIPS WITH A MENTAL CONDITION
COPING WITH A LEARNING DISABILITY OR ILLNESS (KIDLIT)
CORRECTING A PERCEIVED MISTAKE (DARK)
CREATING OR DISCOVERING SOMETHING IMPORTANT
DOING THE RIGHT THING (KIDLIT)
EMBRACING A PERSONAL IDENTITY (KIDLIT)
ESCAPING A DANGEROUS LIFE ONE NO LONGER WANTS TO LIVE
EXPLORING ONE'S BIOLOGICAL ROOTS
FINDING FRIENDSHIP OR COMPANIONSHIP
GAINING CONTROL OVER ONE'S OWN LIFE
HELPING A LOVED ONE RECOGNIZE THEY ARE HURTING THEMSELVES AND OTHERS
KEEPING WHAT ONE HAS NO MATTER WHAT (DARK)
NAVIGATING A CHANGING FAMILY SITUATION (KIDLIT)
OBSESSIVELY PURSUING A RELATIONSHIP (DARK)
OBTAINING GLORY WHATEVER THE COST (DARK)
OBTAINING SHELTER FROM THE ELEMENTS
OVERCOMING A DEBILITATING FEAR
OVERCOMING ABUSE AND LEARNING TO TRUST
OVERTHROWING GOOD WITH EVIL (DARK)
PROTECTING ONE'S HOME OR PROPERTY
PROVIDING SECURITY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
PURSUING A TOXIC DESIRE (DARK)
PURSUING JUSTICE FOR ONESELF OR OTHERS
PURSUING MASTERY OF A SKILL OR TALENT
RECONCILING WITH AN ESTRANGED FAMILY MEMBER
RESCUING A LOVED ONE FROM A CAPTOR
RESISTING PEER PRESSURE (KIDLIT)
RESTORING ONE'S NAME OR REPUTATION
RUINING SOMEONE'S REPUTATION (DARK)
STOPPING AN EVENT FROM HAPPENING
SUPPORTING ONESELF FINANCIALLY
SURVIVING THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE
TAKING WHAT ONE IS OWED (DARK)
TRYING TO SUCCEED WHERE ONE HAS PREVIOUSLY FAILED
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