|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
WANTS + NEEDS = REAL LIVE HUMAN BEINGS
EVEN THE DEVIL HAS MOTIVATIONS, CECILE DEAR. NOR WAS HE ALWAYS EVIL.
Here we are, coming down the stretch. We've looked at the wants of our character(s), these are the what's of the story. We've looked at their desires, or the why's. But what is the point in all this psycho-babble, mumbo-jumbo? After all, you just want to write a damned story. Right?
Well, these two parts of your character's personality are very much tied together. If you can figure out how, then you are on your way to creating more believable, sympathetic beings with which to populate your stories no matter what genre or style you're writing in. As you figure out how the needs connect to the wants you should try to write a few sentences describing the connection:
* Which needs are satisfied in his or her life? William has been raised in an upper class family: his body and safety needs are met.
* Which needs are not satisfied? His parents decide to move to another country for career purposes. William is enrolled, as a foreigner, in a new school where he struggles to develop friends. He doesn't feel accepted. His social needs are not met.
* What occupies his or her thoughts most of the time? All right, I know he's a teen-age male, can we get out of the gutter for a second? William is preoccupied with the question of making friends in a foreign land. What do I have to do to fit in?
* How do his or her needs inform his or her wants and desires? William's unmet social needs dictate that he may choose unacceptable or ingratiating paths to be accepted by a group at school.
The ultimate objective here is to anchor your character's wants and desires, and through those, their actions, in deep rooted needs. Even though we want our good guys to be near saintly and our bad guys to be entirely malicious or malignant, that isn't the way of the world. Nor will it help you produce a character that engages your audience believably.
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis