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Writing Blockbuster Plots by Martha Alderson

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Chapter Twenty

The Goal Column

The character’s long-term goal drives the external dramatic action of the story. Her pursuit of her long-term goal ultimately leads her to change, grow, mature, and transform. The character also needs a goal in every scene. She may or may not even approach that goal by scene’s end, but the reader needs to know what the character is up to at all times. Hence the Goal Column in the Scene Tracker is used to note, in an abbreviated form, the protagonist’s goal at the start of every scene. These scene goals are not your goals for the character, but the protagonist’s. They are the specific steps she plans to take that she believes will help advance her toward her ultimate goal.

What does the protagonist want? This question ...

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