Essential Character Tip #1: Know Your Character’s Deep Why by Beth Barany

Essential Character Tip #1- Know Your Character’s Deep Why by Beth Barany (WFZ)Recently in a training session with clients in our group coaching program I shared one of the most essential character development tips, that of knowing your character’s deep why.

I’ll be sharing more in our special webinar next week. You can sign up for that below.

Today I want to share with you what I mean, a tip on how you can deepen your understanding on your character, and why this is important for your story telling.

Deep Why

Readers want to know what a character wants — his or her goal — and they want to know why the character wants this goal, or the main character’s motivation.

But it’s not enough to stay on the surface when you’re planning your story, though that is a good place to start. (Character planning list here.)

Once you know your character’s motivation, next interview your character, asking them this key question:

What will having that do for you?

Then ask this question each time to the new answer.

To illustrate what I mean, here’s an example from my WIP, book 3 about Henrietta The Dragon Slayer:

At the start of the third book, Henrietta wants to return a boy to his mother in an unknown and dangerous territory.


Because she promised she would and the boy is attached to her.

What would having that do for you, Henrietta?

Then I’ll be doing the right thing.

What would having that do for you, Henrietta?

I can’t just abandon the boy. I need to return him to his people, no matter the cost.

What would having that do for you, Henrietta?

I’m ready to risk it all to protect those I care about.

At the start of my story, Henrietta doesn’t yet know this is her deep why. But by about two-thirds through she will have discovered this about herself, and that will be very relevant to her choices.

Dig deep to find your character’s deep why + then reveal it bit by it in your story. (Click to tweet this. You can edit it before publishing.)

For more essential character (and plot) tips, please join us for our webinar.


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Plan Your Novel: Essential Plot & Character Tips *New & Updated*

Last year Ezra and I gave this webinar to over 200 registered attendees. We’re please to bring back this webinar this year!

Date: September 29, 5pm Pacific

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** You’ll get the recording if you can’t make it live.**


INSTAGRAM-Calling all Novelists!_date-generic-v4

Your Investment: 90-minutes of your time

In this 90-minute special webinar, we will cover:

  • Why preparing your novel saves you time and can help you have direction, power, and purpose
  • Essential plot and character development tips
  • The key questions to ask your characters to make your story hum
  • The overview of the “Plan Your Novel, 30-Day Challenge” next course (starts Oct. 1st)
  • Who are your instructors and why we’re qualified to help you
  • Why we created this course
  • Q&A: Time to get your questions answered

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WHO WE ARE: About the Instructors

Beth and Ezra Barany are award-winning, best-selling novelists, who have worked with over 100 authors to help them get their books written and published.

Happily married for over 15 years, we’re passionate about writing, story telling, and guiding authors to achieve your dreams.

Together we have written and published 18 books, plus 3 audio books. Together and separately, we have taught thousands of students over the years, in both the public and private sector, including overseas in Paris, France. We both teach (and in Beth’s case, coach) and are working on writing and publishing our novels.

Why work with Beth and Ezra:

  • Beth has written and published 5 novellas, 2 novels, a collection of the romance novellas, a short story, and a novel prequel in the last few years. She also has more books coming out in 2016.
  • Beth has used this process successfully in each of her 5 novellas and 4 novels.
  • Beth has taught all these tools to other authors and has seen how effective these tools are.
Beth Barany's YA fantasy novels and magical contemporary romances on

Beth Barany’s books on

  • Ezra has written 4 novels during Nanowrimo.
  • He successfully uses the techniques that we teach.
  • Ezra has published 2 thrillers and is editing the third in his series this year.
Ezra Barany's thrillers on

Ezra Barany’s thrillers on


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