Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Story Archs, MC's and My Life

While I try to keep my personal life to a minimum here in my little corner of cyber space, there are some things you should know.

My family has been through a whole bunch of crap over the last few years. And right now, it feels like it is all spiraling out of control. Though, I suppose that's a good thing, right?

Because in writing, we have a step-wise process:

A - Everything is hunkey dorey for our MC...until one day....
(Dun,dun,dun!)

B - They make a choice, a decision, exercise their free will and agency or an event occurs and...
(WHAM!)

C - Conflict arises.
(Ka-POW!)

D - They battle that conflict, either physically, emotionally, spiritually or even a combination of these "lly's" and out of nowhere, more conflict arises.
(Whap Bam!)

E - Things get a little worse....
(Sob, Bawl, cry!)

F - Your character must make another choice. They can either:
1. admit defeat
2. surge forward with more power, energy and determination than ever
or
3. find an alternate resolution

G - Once that course is chosen, the MC rises above the conflict, solves their problems in one way, shape or form and the story is resolved.
(Sequels are the exception here...but there should be a resolution for some aspect of the conflict in the first book, even if it's just temporary. How do those villains come back to life, anyway??)

The most important part, however, is to acknowledge that through all of this the MC has grown in some way. Maybe they're a better person because they've learned to help others. Or they've learned to forgive. Or they've defeated their demons. Whatever it is, the MC needs to show a positive change.

And I will tell you, writing fiction isn't a whole lot different than real life.

About 3 years ago we learned that one of my children had some learning disabilities...pretty big ones. Although I'd seen these issues since birth, I'd always been poo-poohed by doctors.

Until 2008 when...

A - I can't get into details, but an "event" revealed the severity of these disabilities (i refer to them as learning differences because I find the term learning disabilities highly offensive)

B - My husband and I made a choice.

C - This choice pissed off a lot of people. But honestly, they weren't walking in my shoes (or my daughter's for that matter) so I wasn't worried about it.

D - Now here I am, 3 years later, still stuck in Step D of the novel writing process. Only my life isn't a novel (but if it were, I guarantee it would be a #1 Bestseller....any takers?) Let me tell you, those battles I face are all of the above "lly's," too. I've been an emotional basket-case, faced spirital highs and lows and the stress has caused a huge physical strain on my body.

E - I know I'm entering this stage of the story however, because recently things have really escalated and let's just say if the powers that be don't pull me out of the refiner's fire, I will be burnt to a crisp.

F - I've made lots of choices over the years. At times, although brief, I've given up. Currently I'm surging forward with greater determination on an alternate path. (see how I combined those two choices? clever, huh?)

Knowing that I've been at each stage at one point in time or another, I realize that our MC's can be in various stages at multiple times. They can make a choice and change it. They can still be in one stage but facing the decisions of another.

Although I've been in D, E and F for quite sometime I've also experienced some of the changes required in G. I'm still contacted by people who've read my article. I've forged a path for those who will follow in my footsteps. And I've been a source of comfort to those experiencing some of the very things I've endured. Which, is why, I believe, I've gone back to step F and made changes to the course in this story of life.

I know that this story arch will continue because even though I've made these decisions, I will still have more conflict ahead.

My story is not over.

12 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

You sound like a strong person/character that will make it through her conflict! But just in case, I am going to pray right now.

Amie Borst said...

thank you terri. i will take all the prayers i can get. :)

Laura Pauling said...

I hope it gets easier soon! And I got the earrings thanks - they're so cute! :)

Amie Borst said...

thanks laura. and yay! glad you like them!

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Wow, Amie, I'm so sorry life has been so horrible and emotional for you. I've been there with an autistic son trying to get a correct diagnosis and a spiritually wayward son who says God and Christ is all a fairy tale. So I feel for you and hurt with you. GREAT post putting all these pieces into a story ARC. Brilliant.

Praying for you that you'll get through D,E,F, and G with flying colors!

Brenda Drake said...

Aww, Amie, I've been through something similar. Life has a way of working itself out. Enjoy the rare special moments during the raging storm and eventually the sun will shine. Hugs! :D

Amie Borst said...

thanks kimberely and brenda. it really helps to hear how others have survived similar situations....that i'm not alone.

Sara B. Larson said...

Wow, what a difficult "personal arc" you are enduring. You are so strong and wise. I hope that things will get better for you and your family soon. But the hardest part of this life sometimes is accepting the Lord's will and timing, which may be very different from ours. I will keep you in our prayers.

Amie Borst said...

thanks sara.
it's amazing,but this time i actually listened and accepted the lord's will....which is part of the reason my path has taken such an alternate route!

Medeia Sharif said...

You are a strong person and I hope you overcome this difficulty.

From my own experience, sometimes I've been in darkness for days, weeks, months, and even years and I worked my way to the sunlight at those times. Sometimes I felt hopeless that I'd never get out of my rut, but there were ways.

LeishaMaw said...

I lived (and still live) this very same story arc when my boys were diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome. It's so very, very hard, but hang in there. The refiner's fire gets hot, and you do indeed feel like you are crisping, but the refiner is a master craftsman and will pull you out in time. It will get better. Promise. Hugs.

Amie Borst said...

oh wow leisha...
you know that saying about trials? if you heard about what other people went through, you'd choose your own trials?
well yeah...hearing what you are going through reminds me to be grateful for my own trials...
prayers to you and your family.