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A couple weeks ago, Jill talked about facing obstacles on her blog and gave a scary example of a real world obstacle she had to face. And that’s kind of what I’m going to be talking about with my experiences of this weekend’s race.

As Heidi mentioned yesterday, we did a race this weekend. The course was beautiful, the event was really well run (no pun intended), but I suffered, a lot. Unfortunately, there is something out there in Santa Cruz that deathly hates me and my asthma (or my asthma deathly hates it), and makes it so I can barely breath. After using my inhaler twice during the race and still not being able to take a deep breath, I gave it up for a lost cost.

TeamSlowcolor 1

The turtle is bent over from asthma, not exhaustion.

Anyways, about 16 miles after using my inhaler for the second time, I finished the race….dead last. The dead last part is not really the point though, the point is, I had a goal, and I completed that goal no matter what obstacle was thrown at me, and that’s kind of what characters need to be doing in a book.

Now, I’m not saying that I love to read about my characters suffering, but I do hate reading about a character who has a goal, and they complete that goal with no challenges. It’s not really believable, and it is hard to relate to a character like that. It’s during a character’s suffering and how they react to it that you can see who they really are.

So, give your character some sort of physical handicap like asthma, or throw a wheelbarrow in their path. Whatever you do, just do something to challenge them mentally and/or physically so we can either empathize or sympathize with them and learn who they really are.

How about you? What real world obstacles have you had to face to succeed at some of your goals? Have any of those experiences made it into your stories?