After today, my phone will stop ringing non-stop. The mailman will stop cursing outside my mail slot because he won’t have to try to stuff hundreds of bright and shiny trash-talking postcards through the narrow opening. And… some people will get what they want. Others will be disappointed.
In other words, it’s primary election day here in California.
A day of wanting.
Anyone who runs for public office has to want it. Bad.
I am starting to realize I have some pretty deep-rooted issues with wanting. As in, not allowing myself to do so. Wanting makes me feel ungrateful. Guilty even. As if I don’t appreciate what I have already. We have a simple life-style, but oh so filled with blessings. Most importantly, three healthy, amazing, intelligent children. And a sweet dog too. Friends. Family. Food and shelter. Love.
But, sometimes discontent can lead to ambition and drive. Goal-setting. Fighting sloth. Things I’ve never excelled at.
As therapy, I am trying to make my main character want. In a big, gotta have it kind of way.
Kurt Vonnegut said, “Every character should want something, even if is only a glass of water.”
A character who wants something:
- Will take action
- Evokes empathy
- Is bound to face obstacles and conflicts
- Gives readers something to root for
- Can be tortured and denied (insert evil laughter here)
- Will recognize a happy ending when it comes
What does your character want? What is he/she willing to do to get it? What will be lost if he/she fails?
If you’re in California, go VOTE.
Sarah Wones Tomp
WRITING ON THE SIDEWALK