It’s the summer, at least where I am, which is a great time to feel the sun on your skin, wear cute summer dresses, and have some fun. Feel the joy of being. Sometimes I like to sit in the sun with a cold lemonade and contemplate some of life’s bigger questions. Today I am wondering, How important is mounting crisis to your story?
If you are writing a hero story then crisis is the be all and end all. You can’t prove that you can take action against danger if there is no danger or physical obstacle to your goal to overcome. This is a fear driven story.
But if you are writing a story about learning who you are, and showing it to the world, you are writing a story driven by love. If the story is about finding a way to cross the distance between your protagonist and another person, you are writing a love story. Love doesn’t reveal itself through challenges. It reveals itself through connection. Connection to self, connection to another, and connection to your community or environment.
In the story of love, the obstacle is in your interior and emotional world. You have to make a connection to your beliefs before you can grow, and you want to grow. For example, your protagonist wants to belong and the message she gets from her environment is that membership requires certain behaviours (don’t speak until spoken to, the boss has all the good ideas, womanly behaviour is weak). So she doesn’t shine and nobody notices her or finds her interesting. Until one day…
or, she know that she is different from her family and they have always criticized her for the ways she is not like them. She knocks herself down to fit in. Unfortunately, when she meets someone who sees the beauty in her, the old pattern of knocking herself down is a rejection of his love.
You can’t receive love until you find a way to see your pattern and let it go. Love is about connection. Connection to self so you can connect to another.
There are times for physical crisis that drives you to action – I’m not questioning that. But I can’t help but think there is another driver, and we don’t trust it enough to let it take its full place in the story. It is the ability to turn inward, to awaken to what brings you joy and let that awakening be the main focus of the story. I’m thinking, the growing connection to who you really are, through knowing what you love, and bringing it to life, even if it doesn’t make logical sense in the fear-driven, competitive, security driven world, is interesting enough to pull a story forward.