The Mind and the Heart

Every character, especially the hero, has two goals driven by the mind and the heart. The mind tells the character what he or she wants in the physical world. The heart is what the character really needs.

For example in “Star Wars,” Luke’s mind tells him he needs to get off his uncle’s farm and leave his boring planet. However, what Luke’s heart really wants is to have an adventure. In the end, Luke gets his adventure.

The mind of the character leads the character towards a false victory in achieving a purely physical goal. In “Star Wars,” Luke’s False Victory is when he finally gets to leave his planet on the Millennium Falcon. His true goal is when he blows up the Death Star and has an adventure by stopping a villain and saving a princess.

Think of every hero in every good movie and you’ll see they have two goals driven by the mind and the heart. In the romantic comedy “The Proposal,” a Canadian woman is going to lose her job in America because she’s not a citizen. So her mind tells her to pretend to get married to an American so she can stay in the country. However her heart’s goal is to find true love.

In “Toy Story 4,” the hero (Woody) has a goal driven by his mind, which is to save every toy to stay with a child. However his real heart goal is to be loved, which can sometimes be found by staying with a child but sometimes cannot when that child doesn’t want to play with that particular toy.

In “Legally Blonde,” the hero thinks she wants to win back her boyfriend (mind goal) but her true heart goal is to become a strong woman and stand on her own.

Think of your hero and define what easy, reachable, physical goal that hero can reach and that’s likely the mind goal. Then look deeper at what that hero really needs and that’s the heart goal.

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