A Writing Lesson From Ted Williams

This is what Ted Williams (baseball player, not homeless voiceover guy) said:

All I want out of life is that when I walk down the street folks will say “There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived.”

Damn straight.
If your character doesn’t dream BIG, why are we interested?
If your character doesn’t want something that scares her… what have you got?
If your character doesn’t want something that everyone around her thinks is stupidly impossible, why will we turn the page?

You have to know one thing and one thing for sure about your hero… “What does she want?

Know that (making sure you have the correct desire) and you’ve got something. But it has to be right. And, taking a lesson from Mr. Wonderful, it had better be big and NEARLY unobtainable.

Because that way, your hero is obsessed with her goal. Critical.
Therefore, we’re interested.

Even more critical.


1 Comment

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One response to “A Writing Lesson From Ted Williams

  1. Melody Lopez

    Case in point… a critical lead character in a movie that was supposed to do well…but did not: John Carter.

    John Carter wanted to go back to earth to his cave of gold. Not worthy motivation. No save the cat. Was only interested in the character the last minute of the movie. Perhaps this is why the movie didn’t do well? A shame because I love Andrew Stanton and know he is a champion story teller. I wanted to be invested in John Carter but wasn’t until the credits were about to roll. Broke my heart that it wasn’t better and the critics were right about this one… and it had nothing to do with “seen it before” like so many people say…it truly was a lack of empathy and rooting interest for the lead character…

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