Three captains seeking the same goblet
I recently overheard a tale that turned a drinking goblet into an object overflowing with stories. In the overheard tale, three characters wanted the same object—the goblet—and each character had a different reason fueling their desire.
Imagine a golden goblet lying well-hidden in the bottom of the old seaman’s chest. One ship’s captain wants this goblet because he believes that only it can carry liquid from the Fountain of Youth to his lips. Another ship’s captain wants this goblet because its glowing gold comes from deep within a frightening mountain and is more precious and magical than any other gold. A third ship’s captain wants the goblet because it completes a set of four, which together reveal clues to unimaginable treasures—and she has all of the other goblets already.
Just think! If you write about something that characters want for different reasons, you have to create all of the story that goes with their reasons. This surely stretches the mind of the storyteller to think in such a multifaceted way!