The story as a whole and every scene* within it begins with a goal. Your character wants something—something he will have difficulty accomplishing. What he wants frames the plot on both the macro and micro levels. What he wants defines him as a person, and, by extension, the theme of the book as a whole.
Options for Scene Goals
Partial and Overarching Goals
Questions to Ask About Your Scene Goals
Scene Goals in Action
Photo courtesy of K.M. Weiland
Originally published on Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors