What Is Your Protagonist’s Greatest Need?

Hi Writer Friends,

I have a really important creative writing-related question for you this week:

What is your protagonist’s greatest need?

At the beginning of your story, your protagonist may not seem to want or need anything particular, but if something doesn’t happen that will spur her into action early on, you won’t have much of a story.

We all have physical needs – warmth, shelter, clothing, air, medical help, food, clean water, safety.

Tumbledown shack

We also have emotional and spiritual needs – we need to love and be loved, to matter, to use the gifts God has given us.

Your protagonist may have any type of need, depending on the genre of the novel you are writing . . . physical, emotional, spiritual, community-related or all of the above and perhaps a few other things too!

There will probably one over-arching want/need, though – what is the one main thing that your protagonist lacks, that will make her act?

Does she need to get to a place of safety (and save others, too)? Does she need to find out why her mother died? Does she need to find out what the message in the bottle means? Is she desperately seeking forgiveness, or the meaning to life? Will she gain significance from solving the crime? Does she need release from fear?

This main need of your protagonist, and their search to get it, will be your story. So what’s yours? 🙂

Let me know in the comments below, or come and join in the conversation on our facebook page!

Janet Wilson
Janet Wilson

Have a great week,




P.S. Do forward this to writer friends – it might be just what they need. Be the encourager!



Share this: