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....
B - They make a choice, a decision, exercise their free will and agency or an event occurs and...
C - Conflict arises.
D - They battle that conflict, either physically, emotionally, spiritually or even a combination of these "lly's" and out of nowhere, more conflict arises.
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
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.