The Burning Desire: The Difference Between Magnificent & Maddening – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb once more provided us with an excellent educational post about writing. Thank you so much Kristen. You know we always appreciate your posts and you sharing experience and knowledge!


The burning desire is the beating heart of all great stories. Without the burning desire, the story will fall apart faster than a reality star who’s lost her hair extensions.

We’ve discussed story structure more times than I can count on this blog, and for good reasons. When we understand the fundamental parts of story and how they work, why they work, etc. THEN when something seems ‘off’ we possess the knowledge base and vocabulary to detect WHY the story isn’t working then fix it.

The Burning Desire for the BBT

the burning desire, great fiction, storytelling, fiction, Kristen Lamb, goal conflict motivation

I know it’s been a while, so super quick review. The first crucial ingredient for any story is a core antagonist to create the main problem in need of resolution by the time we reach THE END.

Since the whole ‘antagonist’ concept tied my brain in knots for YEARS, I finally invented my own term—Big Boss Troublemaker (BBT).

Why?

Because every story must have a core antagonist or, by definition, it isn’t a story.

That said, not all antagonists are villains. Villains are only one type of antagonist. Very useful in thrillers, horror, mystery, science fiction, and the like, but not so much in general fiction or literary fiction.

To understand more what I mean about the BBT, feel free to go HERE. If we fail to understand the BBT, then frankly the burning desire is a moot point.

While all stories must have a core antagonist (BBT), that alone isn’t enough. We must also figure out what drives the BBT. What is the burning desire fueling the goal that will eventually come at odds with the protagonist and (eventually) create a hero?

If we look back at some of the most iconic books, movies and series, we will see the writers NAILED the burning desire.

***I’ve detailed this on posts about real ‘flesh and blood’ villains, but also when we have a BBT that might be more everyday or existential.

Again, in the essence of time, I recommend taking a look at the posts I’ve hyperlinked.

CONTINUE READING HERE