Last time I promised a discussion on the story goal. I don’t wanna! But . . . I will anyway.
The first question one has to ask is, what is a story goal?
Is it the Grand Argument? No.
Is it the plot? No.
The story goal is literally that, the goal of the characters in the story. In my novel The Seraphim Protocol, the story goal is for Jacob and Draghixa to rescue her son and then get them both off the planet Charon so they can live happily ever after. In Star Wars, the story goal is for Luke to learn about the force and destroy the Death Star. Yet another example is that the goal of Watership Down was to tramatize every small child in America. (And you know, I still can’t watch that movie?)
Therefore, after figuring out your Grand Argument, you should choose the practical Story Goal. That’s right, start . . . with the end! When you are developing your concept, you should be thinking about which direction you want the novel to go, it gives you a target to shoot for.
Once you know where the novel will eventually end up, then you’ll be able to wrap your mind around what steps are going to be necessary for the characters to succeed . . . or fail. It depends on how you feel the end is going to go.
Which brings me to the end of this post. But next time I’ll explain why you don’t always have to have a happy ending!