Novice Writers
Intermediate Writers
Advanced Writers
Basic Story Structure


Creative Writing
Story Development
Story Structure
Narrative Science    

Story Development
Story Structure

Dramatica Software 
Dramatica Theory

Articles on Writing

For Story



Home Mail:

For Story


Write Your Novel or Screenplay Step By Step

Try it Risk-Free for 90 Days

Contact Us - About Us - Lowest Price Guarantee - Shipping - Return Policy

Copyright Melanie Anne Phillips - Owner,, Creator Storyweaver, Co-creator Dramatica




Dramatica Articles on Writing Free Online Writing Classes in Streaming Video

Follow Us

Follow Us at Interactive Story Engine

Novel Writing Software

Write Your Novel or Screenplay Step by Step

Thousands of writers use StoryWeaver to build their story’s world, characters, plot, theme,
and genre.

Try it Risk-Free!
Click for Details

Try it Risk-Free!
Click for Details

Thousands of writers use Dramatica to find and refine their story’s structure and to find and fix holes and missteps.

Key Features Key Features

Free Bonus Package The Writer's Survival Kit Bonus Package

Try it Risk-Free for 90 Days!

Click for Details

Free Bonus PackageThe Writer's Survival Kit Bonus Package

Try it Risk-Free for 90 Days!

Click for Details

By Melanie Anne Phillips

creator StoryWeaver, co-creator Dramatica

Some writers become so wrapped up in interesting events and bits of action that they forget to have a central unifying goal that gives purpose to all the other events that take place. This creates a plot without a core.  For a story to have a message, it is essential that the readers or audience are completely clear on what the goal is at the heart of all the hubbub.

But determining your story's goal can be difficult, especially if your story is character oriented, and not really about a Grand Quest.  In such cases, there is no single goal everyone is competing to achieve (such as winning the love of a particular prince or princess), but rather everyone is trying to win the love of their own special someone.

Such a story definitely has a goal: to find happiness in a relationship. But the object of that desire is not the exact same person.  This type of goal is called a Collective Goal since it is not about trying to achieve the same thing, but the same KIND of thing.

Trying to impose a single unifying goal on such a story is a bad fit and will come across as stilted and artificially imposed.  Using a collective goal can be far more organic and play to the passions of the piece, such as in ensemble stories where the desire is to elevate a number of characters, not just the main character.

Bottom line: Every story needs a goal to pull the plot together and provide a focus for the message.  But considering the goal for your story, don't feel obligated to impose a contrived central goal if a collective goal is more appropriate.

The “Collective” Goal