I’m in North Carolina right now. Since we have two young kids, we split the trip in half. Last night we camped.

(Note to self: Camping with young kids on the longest day of the year may not have been the brightest idea.)

My son Fyo was so excited about camping, but when it was time to finally go to bed, the long trip, early morning, and functionally non-existent nap caught up.

“I want to go home,” he cried.

It’s very hard to say, “We can’t go home,” to a sad, tired two-year-old.

So often, it seems the “I want to go home” character motivation is simply an excuse for another, more exciting plot. The audience doesn’t want the hero to go home; there’s no adventure at home. If the crew of the Battlestar Galactica or Voyager finds Earth, the show’s over.

But we all know that deep desire to go home. My son knows it, and he made me feel it. To really communicate that in a story would be to tap into something primal and powerful.

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