Reply To: Lesson #3 Getting to Know Your Characters

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Elizabeth Spaur


Goal – The new general counsel for a university that has recently been rocked by scandal, his goal is to root out the last of the corruption for the university to help restore its reputation.

Motive – He grew up in this university town and his family is one of the founding families. It’s a point of pride that the current generation is working to fix what was broken. He also left a lucrative practice for this job and wants to succeed.

Flaw – He has a hard timing seeing what really is in the present because he views everything through a lens of the past

Stakes – His job is on the line as is the reputation of the university and its ability to continue to grow and thrive, which could also impact the town. He also might lose his chance with the heroine if he can’t let the past go.

The hero wants to root out corruption in the university because he wants to succeed at his job and restore what was broken, but his inability to see the reality of the present gets in his way. If he can’t let go of the past and focus on the present, he will not be able to root out the corruption and he may lose his job and his chance at love.


Goal – Her career goal is focused on decreasing maternal mortality rates in pregnancy.  She is also asked by the hero to help him because some of the corruption is at the medical school.

Motive – Her mother died in childbirth after a textbook pregnancy and she was raised by her father to always do the right thing. Also, because of her meeting with the hero, some of the corrupt elements at the medical school focus on her and threaten her job.

Flaw – She puts her career over everything, even her family and herself.  It is her entire identity.

Stakes – Her patients’ lives are in her hands and her career is threatened, but if she doesn’t find some balance, she will miss out on her chance for love.

The heroine wants to lower maternal mortality rates during pregnancies because her mother died after a textbook pregnancy and she wants to help the hero with his investigation, but her ability to balance her work with the rest of her life gets in her way. If she can’t find a balance to help the hero reach his goal, she could lose her job and her chance for a life that’s about more than her career.


Romance With a Side of Snark


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