Polishing chapters. Teaching new students film techniques. Putting together YouTube videos and podcasts. Participating in a podcast. Coaching a pro wrestling club. Man, I'm busy and I don't think I've ever felt more fulfilled by it. But let's focus on something literary. Let's talk about the fulfillment of your characters.
Talking about a character's goal or motivation seems like it would be synonymous with their fulfillment. But if you really think about it, you can be fulfilled without achieving your dreams. You can be happy. You can be content. So to help think about your characters and flesh them out a bit, today I'm suggesting we look at what would make them feel fulfilled.
Maybe you have an epic fantasy and your character is some sort of warrior. Their motivation may be to avenge a fallen lord. That's not necessarily their dream. Their dream could be return of the old kingdom, returning the rightful heir to the crown. But let's take that away from them. If your character couldn't achieve either of those, what kind of things would let them live a fulfilling life? This is where you truly get to know your character.
Maybe, had they never taken up the sword, they might have become an artist. So let's say the bad guy won or the last heir of the old house died. There is no way to accomplish those goals now. Could your hypothetical warrior find peace and fulfillment in a simple life? Raising a family? Pursuing art? Yeah, it's a little cheesy, a little cliche, but it's just an example.
Think about your character. If they couldn't accomplish their goals, what else would lead to a fulfilling life? You obviously don't have to (and probably shouldn't) follow that route, but it can open you up to more parts of your character you hadn't even thought of. And, hey, the quest has to end someday, right? What would the do after?
Don't Forget to be Awesome!
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.