Article Navigation

Back To Main Page


Click Here for more articles

Short Story Writing Tips - Is There Something At Stake For Your Character?
by: Nick Vernon

In your story, does your character have to achieve his goal no matter what? Have you raised the stakes so high that he will struggle because the goal is so important to him?

Your character’s goal has to be pretty important to him because that’s what will motivate him in your story. When goals are conjured up from a whim, they are not powerful enough to sustain the character’s actions.


Your character is a doctor who’s searching to find a cure for a particular disease.

What is motivating him to find the cure?

His child is dying from that disease.

So the stakes are pretty high for this character. He has to achieve his goal no matter what.


Let’s say in your story your character’s goal is to save enough money to go overseas because his mother is dying. This is a very important goal and the character will try to achieve it no matter what. The stakes are very high because this will be his one chance to see his mother alive.


What if the character’s goal is not very important to him?

If we took the above example, of the character’s goal being to save enough money for a trip overseas, and instead say he wanted to do this because he needed the rest, this isn’t a very powerful goal because the stakes aren’t very high. If this character finds that meeting his goal is too difficult, then he might decide to take a trip locally instead.

Stakes have to be raised, not only when your character faces the conflict, but with every problem, which comes his way.

As you’re building the conflict and throwing obstacles in your character’s path, you find that there’s not much at stake for your character, keep making the problems so bad that there won’t be any other alternative than to have something at stake.

About the author:
Besides his passion for writing, Nick Vernon runs an online gift site where you will find gift information, articles and readers funny stories. Visit

Circulated by Article Emporium


©2015 - All Rights Reserved | Free Forums | Top Webhosts