I received an email the other day, talking about a book called "You're Broke Because You Want To Be". (The gist of it is that if you're routinely spending more than you're earning, it's because of your day-to-day decisions, which you could change if you wanted.) That, coupled with an inspirational quotation that "You Will Be what you Will To Be" got me thinking about the importance of what we want for what we achieve.
It's something that holds true for us as writers... if you don't passionately want to be published, you're never going to put in the amount of work necessary to perfect your craft, finish a novel (or in my case, three novels before I sold one), submit the novel to agents and editors, revise the novel, and do all the other things required to get published. Only the burning desire to see our books being read and enjoyed by other people can give us the drive to get the thing done.
It also holds true for our characters. They may start the book going merrily about their way, no cares in the world, doing whatever makes them happy. But the reader only begins to care about them when they want something. When they burn with the need for some goal that is so great, they will sacrifice anything and everything else in their life to achieve it. The reader grows to love them when they discover there is something in their life more important than this need, which they will not and will never sacrifice. (Because we write romances, that something is usually the other half of the romantic pairing.)
What do you want, more than anything in the world?
-- Jennifer Dunne