Sunday, 20 May 2012

Ruling Passions - Yearning and Learning!

Y – Yearn

For this word we can interpret – for story purposes – what a character wants. The main driving force of good story telling is having a protagonist actually wanting something and if that character wants (or yearns for) something badly enough it can propel the whole story to its logical conclusion.
Character ‘wants’ was something I struggled with quite a bit early on in my writing. I never quite understood it for some time. But the when the penny finally dropped - what a difference it made to my story telling. For when a character is driven by a desperate need they will find extra determination to overcome obstacles and find inner strength where they did not know it existed.
‘Yearning for something’ is a stronger phrase than just ‘wanting something’. In my mind it even borders on desperation. Everyone has wants and needs but the character who yearns is usually so wrapped up in his longing that he will do almost anything to attain his goal. And that’s the kind of character I like in my stories!
Of course yearning for something is used as a main character tool in all stories (and in romance it is often used as a means of setting up tension when the love interest is unrequited) but for me, in writing thrillers, it is the ruling passion of what a character is striving to do or attain in the course of that story.
A great word, don’t you agree?


  1. It is a great work, and not one you really hear of much nowadays. It does have more of a strength to it that wanting. I Want a lot of things, but I don't think I yearn for them...

  2. I completely agree with you. It's a great word to describe our character's longings. Thanks for the reminder, Pat!

  3. Nice writing Pat! Good way to get us thinking. Btw I love your new blog layout! A little mysterious, too! Great job.

  4. Love that word! The character's want or yearning always drives my plots - along with their fears.

  5. Excellent post Pat - thank you! :-)

  6. Yes, great word. The yearning can add so much tension.