Reply To: Exercise 3

Home Forums MASTERING CHARACTER ARCS Exercise 3 Reply To: Exercise 3

Joanna Jelen

Hi Peter,

Thank you for being so patient with me.

Need—I thought Justyna’s yearning to be an artist is not a want but self-actualization, the top self-fulfillment need from Maslow’s pyramid. I’m confused where is the difference.

Want—Her want is garbled, you’re right. It’s my fault. I should show it more as clear cause/effect. So, let me try to make it better.

Justyna wants to stay in the USA legally (she only has a six-month travel visa) for two main reasons: 1. America is a dream country for anybody from a communistic country (because: jobs opportunities, much better pay, better life, hope for an American dream) 2. Justyna wants to stay with Chris, her best friend (because: best friends, she missed him dearly when he left Poland, he was always her great inspiration and motivation, and he needs her too). Perhaps, I should emphasize the no 1 reason more?

In order to make her stay legal, she must get a green card. In her case, it can only be done through marriage with an American citizen. She doesn’t believe she can find a love of her life in six months, so she must find an American citizen who would be willing to marry her “for papers”, which is a fraud punished by Immigration and Naturalization Service. She would pay the citizen for the trouble, he would give her green card. So, this is her want: marry for green card before her travel visa expires.

Jay (my hero) is an ex-athlete who ruined his career injuring his shoulder outside the field when he was drunk.

His need: to belong, to have a friend he can trust and relax with (his team mates turned their back to him after and he can’t believe he let Veronique trick him and lie to him)

His want: stay out of trouble, away from paparazzis, gossips and stardom. He has enough of being in the spot lights.

Need arc: Although he is pulled to Justyna and likes her, he doesn’t trust her, he betrays her, and breaks his promise to himself to keep her at the arm length.  Although he swears never to get married again, he realizes Justyna is his best friend and he loves her.

Want arc: Is it his arc??? He is pulled into the gossips and chased by paparazzis because of the Veronique’s acts who wants to frame him for her shams. However, at the end, when (with Justyna’s help) he finds out his injuries were Veronique fault, he doesn’t make the info public to clear his name.


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