Script Tip: What Does Your Main Character Want For Christmas or Hanukkah?
Step 1. Define for yourself what you want for Christmas or Hanukkah this year. Dig underneath and try to infer what form the love is taking in this particular gift. For example, if you are hoping your boyfriend will give you a ring, the symbolism is obvious.
Step 2. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
Step 3. Now ask your main character what he or she would like for Christmas or Hanukkah. Write in the first person as your main character and describe what she/he wants and why. Be as detailed as possible.
When I did this exercise for my character I was surprised to learn that what she wanted was a purpose, and to know that she would have a place in history.
Step 4. Repeat this exercise for your villain or obstacle.
For example, when I did this exercise, much to my surprise, what my villain also wanted was a purpose, and to know that he would have a place in history. No one was more surprised than this author!
To summarize, once you do this exercise, you will discover an interesting relationship between what your main characters want. In my case I discovered that they both wanted a purpose, but I might have discovered the opposite or something entirely different. But no matter what the result, you may find that the dramatic unity of your story will simply arrange itself, which may be the greatest present a writer could get.