The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Peeking around the next curve"

Rachel, a lady who has been following my posts, sent me the following:

"I love when unexpected flowers start to blossom from forgotten seeds.

I've been doing a *lot* of inner work over the past several months, identifying and letting go of stories that no longer move me forward. One of the things I've been looking at is strengthening acceptance and compassion without becoming overwhelmed by others' pain. As I was meditating on this, a memory arose of your explanation of how you write by putting your characters through the wringer in order to challenge them to rise above. This memory brought me a clarity of understanding that this could easily become a paradigm for life: obstacles and tragedies are merely opportunities for us to experience joy and sorrow and explore beyond the limits of what we had believed we were capable of doing and becoming.

It's a lovely, freeing paradigm. Thank you.

: )"


And thank you, Rachel. Here are thoughts about how to get the same results:

1) Use the Hero's Journey as a way to examine your plot and story structure, the lives of each character.

2) Apply it also to your process of writing.

3) When watching movies you've seen before (the first time, just have fun!) identify as many of the ten core steps as possible.

4) Look at the area of greatest challenge in your life, the moments of deepest depression in your past, and ask if one of the following got you through it: Belief in yourself? In allies? In a higher power?

5) Ask: what upcoming challenges will demand similar resources? What can you do to increase your faith? Self-love and self-respect? Your bond to your mastermind allies?

These simple patterns can help bring order out of the chaos of life, and to see "around the next curve" in your efforts to become the better, stronger, smarter you.



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