Recently I picked up a piece of advice on character design that says that you should make a note of what your character want and what your character need. I found that this made sense and I've started to apply it to my short story series I'm outlining at the moment. For every story I have a section of the outline that looks a bit like this: Who is NAME this time? What does NAME want? What does NAME need? And as a practical example: This is working out really well for me. It's a really simple trick, but it's really powerful in how it deepens my understanding of the characters involved. I've also found that so far, the want question has had a different answer for each story, even when the character is the same. What the characters want seem to change quite easily. This is the opposite of the need question where the answers seem to stay the same for each character from story to story. I suspect that the answer to what the characters need will remain the same throughout the entire series, with perhaps a change once each characters completes, or draws near the end of, their respective arcs. Have you used these questions in the past, and how do you find them?