Novel Prep: Exercise 7

Exercise 7: Define the obstacles and fears that are preventing the characters from achieving their goals. These obstacles should come out of the first ten paragraphs from Exercises 1-5.


Short Term Goals:

1. Decide between the love of his life, or the life he’s always known

   Obstacle(s): If he chooses love, he would never again be allowed back in the town where all his friends and family are. He’s also unsure if his hunting skills will be needed in a more civilized society, so what would he do to support a family? But if he chooses his current life, will he ever find love again? Would he want to?

2. Pull off the ultimate prank

   Obstacle(s): Everyone in the town is familiar with his mischievous nature, and it makes pulling harmless pranks all the harder – let alone pulling off the “ultimate” prank.

Long Term Goal:

Find his niche in the world – figure out a way to be comfortable within his own skin

   Obstacle(s): Hevel is uncomfortable with how others see him (he doesn’t view himself as a leader, but looks up to his brother as the leader instead). He must first realize that it’s not what he does, but who he is that will determine his place in the world.



Short Term Goals:

1. Be elected Elder

   Obstacle(s): Kayin is on the young side to be an Elder, and there are many who oppose his progressive changes to their society…

2. Start his next project: domesticating animals

   Obstacle(s): The very idea makes most of the town nervous. The farmers worry that too much land is making their profession and homes a target when the next war comes, and the hunters worry that this could put them out of a job – and Kayin needs the support of both groups to make this work (the farmers to create fences for the pastures – as well as needing a lot of work to make pastures in mountainous terrain – and the hunters need to catch the animals to breed into domesticated animals.)

Long Term Goal:

Establish a peace that will last beyond one generation by becoming Judge, the ultimate secular leader of the town.

   Obstacle(s): In addition to the problems listed under his first short term goal (which definitely apply here), it will require expertise beyond that of the town (specifically, that of each of the two nations that continues to try to invade every generation or so) to insure that a lasting peace is achieved.


I’ve decided that, while I’m keeping the love for the priestess, I’m going to give Kayin a loveless marriage. Realizing he was never going to be with Devorah, he married Miriam, the daughter of the current Judge of the town. Though they have one child (now about 5 or 6 years old), they spend most of their time arguing, which spurs Kayin to spend more time at work, swordplay, and at the temple – anything to keep him out of his miserable excuse for a home. Still, the town only sees a respectably married man who works hard and puts the town first…


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