Wanting an experience

We don't only want physical, tangible things in life; we also want intangible things such as experiences and feelings.

What does Naila want in this snippet?

On the dance floor, I wrap my arms around him and rest my head on his shoulder as a slower song begins. The dance floor is packed with people, but the rotating lights flickering through the room make me feel like we're enclosed in our own canopy together.

"I don't want this night to end," I tell him.

"That's good." He pulls me closer. "Because we just got started. You may not have known this about me, but I kind of love to dance."

  • Naila says she doesn't want this night to end—but that's a metaphor, a figure of speech.
  • She wants to keep experiencing the romance of the moment and the evening as a whole.
  • She doesn't tell us why, but we get the idea, because we know that romance is a motivation in its own right.

We can divide this snippet into three parts:

  • Setup: Description that gives us a sense of what the character is experiencing.
  • Want: Character expresses what they want (or don't want) to happen next.
  • Affirmation: In this snippet, a secondary character supports their wish.

Here are a couple of examples that use the same pattern:

I'm waiting in the car park when the Uber driver pulls up. It's cold and grey. The car park is muddy. I've got gloves on and I'm cradling a goose the size of Rhode Island. I get the driver to roll down the front window.

"I want a ride into the city," I say.

"I can take you as far as Pelham Bay," he says, eyeballing the goose. "You can get a train from there."

One day I looked out the window at the other office block across the street, and I watched another lady sitting at her desk, with her own computer, and her own job in whatever it was, insurance or leasing or whatever. And I thought, "I can't do this anymore. The only place I want to be is in the forest fighting fires."

Except I must have said it out loud because Jerome who sat opposite me called out, "Do it, girl! Get that dirty dream of yours!"

Write a variation using the same pattern.

We've talked about wants—but what's the difference between a want and a goal?