Lesson overview

Story - Narrative
Middle years and up
character goals
character motivation
story logic
emotion behaviour loop
narrative logic
tangible desires
intangible desires
taking action
emotional cause and effect
emotional needs
evoking emotion
opposing goals
internal conflict
characters cooperating
character intentions
yielding to another character
Goals and motivations are the engine of any narrative—they propel the characters into action. In this lesson we rewrite snippets from a variety of middle years and young adult texts to explore the difference between wants and goals, how goals fit into the emotion-behaviour loop, what happens when goals are in opposition, and how asking why can lead you to the bedrock emotional need fuelling a character's goal. We conclude with a checkpoint piece in which students write a variation on a snippet from I Am Malala, about a character who wants something, takes action, and then responds to opposition.