A few years ago I happened upon the writing tip of giving conflicts to your main character. Some authors suggest torturing them, to force them outside of their safe zones they’ve built in their life.
You don’t do this just out of some twisted cruelty…well, maybe some authors do that, but there is a good reason you add problems for the character-
TO MAKE THEM GROW.
You want them to learn and evolve through the story. You give them hardships like a blacksmith uses heat and a whetstone, to sharpen the edge.
This hit me hard in my real life. As much as I try to avoid problems and hardship, it just never occurred to me that if I were a character in a story, my story would be boring.
Heroes face the problem. They deal with it. They take on the problem and find a solutions.
When this concept worked its way into my own reality, I found catharsis to see myself as a character in my own story. Life gives you conflict…that is quite literally what Life is about. Well, the ups and downs. But it is those downs that provide the strongest, life-changing lessons.
Instead of avoiding problems, I should focus on finding solutions to problems. That’s what heroes do, right?
Writing can teach us as much of ourselves as we’re trying to provide entertaining and education to our readers.
What lessons have you learned in your writing journey? Post in comments.
This year I promised myself to go beyond my comfort zone, or more importantly, what I considered ‘safe’, to embrace the adventure and see where it took me.
It didn’t work out as well as I hoped.
Taking chances includes disasters. You don’t read about the people who didn’t make it. Failing doesn’t make good storytelling, but it is part of the path towards success, to find out what works and what doesn’t work. (And I excel at finding out what doesn’t work).
Get help. Help takes on many forms, not just the help of other people who know what they are doing, but also the encounters with choices, or finding meaning in anything from a quote to a story. Ask for advice, weed out the unhelpful criticism, and move forward.
Rise from the ashes. This is difficult if you don’t have wings, so even if you have to stagger and stumble out of the ashes, that works too. The important thing is that you keep trying, changing your plans if necessary, in order to keep moving forward.
I wish Life was more like a story, where you encounter the Hero’s Journey, where stumbling is only a setback, where you find a the Guide to help you, and where you may not triumph but you do change for the better.
What are your thoughts on this topic; post in comments.
Filed under Goals, Writer