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I Become an Author 5 - Nothing Is More Important Than Characters

2 min read

Nur wer schreibt, der bleibt! I will be the next Jo Nesbö. But for now I have to learn a bit. The funny way. This is what Randy Ingermanson says.



“I’ll give you this hundred-dollar bill if you can hold your breath for two minutes.” Goldilocks didn’t know if she could do that, but it couldn’t hurt to try. “Okay.”

After about 70 seconds Goldilocks gives up and opens her mouth and sucks in air.

Baby Bear put the hundred back in the little wallet clipped to his belt. “Why did you open your mouth?”
“Because I wanted air.”
“Not world peace?”
Goldilocks giggled. “Not right then. I wanted air more than anything in the world.”
“So why were you holding your breath?”
“Well … I also wanted that hundred-dollar bill.”

Baby Bear burst into a smile. “That’s what I call a Goal—when you want something specific and concrete. Like holding your breath for two minutes to earn a hundred dollars.

Baby Bear went to the whiteboard and wrote down:


  • Simple
  • Concrete
  • Important
  • Achievable
  • Difficult

“Values!” said Baby Bear. “Each of you values different things. Goldilocks values clothes and makeup and a nice house and food. That’s what drives her Ambition to be rich someday—because then she’ll have the things she values.”

By definition, Values are so obvious that they can’t be proved. Let’s look at how this works.” He went to the whiteboard and wrote down:


Baby Bear went to the whiteboard. “For each of your four main characters, I want you to write down the following information.” He wrote on the board:


  • Name:
  • Role:
  • Goal:
  • Ambition:
  • Values (two or more):
  • One-sentence summary:
  • One-paragraph summary:

Goldilocks took a picture of the board with her phone. “Why do you want more than one Value?”

“Because most people have several things they value. And those can be in conflict. And when a person has conflicting Values, that leads to internal conflict, and the person becomes unpredictable.”