007/100 Things – What drives your characters?

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Some important questions to think about are:

At the start of the book, what is the character like?

At the end of the book, how has that character grown, changed, developed?

At the start of the book, what does the character want the most?

What makes this difficult to achieve, or why can’t s/he have it?


Or you could try to fill in something like this, as I have below for my character Alhen, an Enforcer who hates Sky Pirates with an almost uncontrollable passion.


External goal: Rid the world of Sky Pirates.

Internal goal: Feel accomplished – live up to his families/his own expectations.

Unanswerable question: How Do I Live Contently?



1. Becomes Enforcer.

2. Proves himself worthy by catching and killing (public hanging) many.

3. Use gained power to impose new laws to make it ‘impossible’ to be a Sky Pirate.



1. Family still isn’t proud of his achievements. They increase pressure.

2. Jairdan & Tyn (Sky PIrates) prove they’re better than him.

3. After he’s convinced he got rid of Jairdan & Tyn, they send him a tease, letting him know they won in the end. Even though he almost died.


Does he get his goal: No. But he learns to be happy with what he’s managed to be.

What’s at stake?: He’ll lose face. Family will think he’s a failure.

Benefits: He’s still alive. He has Laith now. Might learn to not aim so high, or to be so hard on himself. Might learn to be happy.


How does he change?:            

Physically: Almost dies.

Emotionally: Hurt pride. Learns to aim lower.

Spiritually: Happier. Learns to live for himself.

Actions that show the change: Tells family to leave him alone. Stops living for his family’s praise.


About thiefofcamorr

Katharine likes to think she’s a Sky Pirate and that takes up most of her time. When she isn’t treasure hunting, she’s writing or playing video games and wishing Doctor Who and Farscape were real. She started writing at age 12 and has written almost every day on paper and most certainly in her mind otherwise – or at least, she used to, and is hoping to get back into that mindset asap. She tends to like the idea of fantasy, but her ideas themselves always seem to gravitate towards science fiction. Katharine is a judge in the Aurealis Awards, and would really like a pet chocobo.

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