Online: Zoom

Nuts and Bolts of Novel Planning: Character Goals

Friday, September 9th, from 9:00am-12:00pm (EST).
Online: Zoom
See Map
Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
This class is full

In creating stories, many writers focus on what happens without enough consideration as to the why. And that why is all about character. What does your character want? Why do they want it? What are they willing to sacrifice to get it? Novel planning begins with answering these character-focused questions. Key to this is ensuring your character has clear goals, both tangibly and emotionally. This lecture-driven seminar focuses on techniques to create characters who feel real, with motivations, desires, wants, and needs. Students will explore how characters are actually a novel-writing secret weapon and how to wield them for the most effective results in their stories. Students will leave with a key understanding: characters drive the plot, not the other way around.

Students who have previously taken other courses on novel planning, including the seminars: The Nuts and Bolts of Novel Planning: Character Goals and The Nuts and Bolts of Novel Planning: Setup and Payoff will find this course helpful in rounding out the additional parts of their outline.

Part of GrubStreet's Novel Planning Series, led by Lori Goldstein and designed for those who are at the beginning stages of their novel. Take every class in the series or simply choose the craft topics that are relevant to the challenges you face with your novel in progress. 

Class Format

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

  • -


grubstreet Image
Lori Goldstein
See Bio

Previous Students Say

  • Inspired Me to Write More
  • "Lots of Practical Tips"
  • "Very Well-Organized"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"


  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Lecture
  • In-Class Reading
  • Class Discussion


  • The Novel

Commitment Level



Need a scholarship?

Learn more
Memoir Revision Essentials: Structure & Theme
read more
Nuts and Bolts of Novel Planning: Story Beats
read more
Nuts and Bolts of Novel Planning: Story Beats
read more