Every main character needs two problems: one external and one internal
before you click off this post and say "duh!"
ask yourself ...
what is exactly the internal problem for your main character? Do you really know it? inside and out? does your main character know it (they may or may not)? how will that change over the course of your story?
I recently heard an interesting point that most writers THINK they know the internal problem of their main characters...but, in fact, struggle to voice it. Try it right now. Say it out loud...is it solid?
You see.... I tend to write very "together" characters. Sometimes too much so. That can be a problem.
On the flip side, a whiny, weak, overly impulsive character can also be a problem.
You may think that the "story" part of With A Name Like Love is the murder mystery. You may think it is about an itinerant preaching family.
Those are components, yes. But the spine of the story ... the main thrust ... is the internal problem of the main character, Ollie.
She wants a stable home. Can she ever convince her daddy to stay in one place? Or is that like asking a stream to sit and visit for a while...nature just won't allow it?
In my current WIP, I am struggling with this concept right now. I wrote the MC with a weak inner problem. I realize now that I have to go back, rethink it, beef it up.
Tell me: which comes easier for you - creating the inner problem or the outter struggle/issues of story? the internal journey of your character or the external world?