Step 1 – Identify Your Character’s Goal, Motivation, and Characteristics.
This is where all creative people, like me, look for inspiration. The character will likely be a bit of a badass, and I often see characters are “strong.” I ask my husband where I could learn and work more on my character. He says I just have to find my story.
It’s okay for your character’s motivation to be different than your character’s goals. You don’t need to have a completely different story just because a character is different. The same goes for motivations. It doesn’t matter that your character has different goals.
For my first novel, I wanted a protagonist that was a bit of a jerk (and had to deal with a very specific problem like money). But I didn’t want to write a lot of angst, because those are easy to write and you can use them to drive the plot.
As long as you don’t over think it, you could write a story of someone who could possibly become a criminal if not for his parents.
In this stage of the process, the author will probably already have an idea of the protagonist in mind, because it’s easier to focus your attention on what makes the character interesting. You should always include the idea of the character’s goals if at all possible.
Note that you don’t need to be absolutely 100% sure what the protagonist believes. The author can go to an alternate universe and give it to you. If the readers believe in the protagonist’s goal, it’s better. However, you also want to make sure the author understands that if he/she takes the story in a different direction there are consequences, and it may be better to end on an upbeat note.
Step 2 – Draft Your Character’s Purpose, Motive, and Ability.
In my second draft, I kept the protagonist’s motivation for a while, and then let it grow in response to the plot. He would take part in some crime (which I call “prostitution”.) But this was mostly a side point, or a small, important part of the plot.
One day I was reading through the other characters’ goals. My first draft had them being the best thing for society, and trying to stop their evil deeds. So I thought what if I just took the plot and let them be bad people, and had them do all the good things in the world (such as saving a girl or