Make Things Wrong For Your Characters

Characters that have everything they need and want in life are pretty damn boring.

In real life, I guess it might be pretty amazing to have every need met, every desire fulfilled. You’d probably be pretty boring too, but I can imagine worse things to be — unless you’re a character in a book. Characters need problems, without them they’re nothing. They lack conflict and without conflict, they don’t drive the story.

You don’t have to be a fiction feudal lord when giving your characters problems, though. Sure it can be fun to watch what happens when you take away even a character’s basic needs, like food and shelter and sex. But you can go easier on them and still create plot-driving fiction. Small problems can make big characters, if you make the problem — and their proposed solution to it — their sole reason for existence, at least in the story.

So, have some fun and make things wrong your characters. Learn more.