MOVE THE PLOT FORWARD
Because this is my first blog (ever) I grappled over what to write about. With so many blogs already in cyberspace, it felt daunting. What could I say to make it worth your time to stop and visit, and—hope against hope—get you to come back?
As a fiction writer, I’ve attended countless workshops for craft over the years. Among these was a memorable, hands-on workshop using examples from Christopher Vogler’s highly-acclaimed book,THE WRITER’S JOURNEY. My AHA! moment came when I learned that each of us is on our own journey, complete with character arc, conflict, perhaps a bit of romance and danger—and growth. By the last chapter of life, we, like our fictional hero, should be able to look back and see how far we’ve come, and how it’s changed us for the better.
Another lesson drilled into a writer’s brain: Move the plot forward. As an ardent walker, this notion appeals to me; and as a reader, I appreciate it. I’ve gotten stuck once or twice in a novel’s “sagging middle,” and been unable to pick it up again because nothing’s happening. Sound familiar? A story that doesn’t move is static, unproductive, and seems a waste of time. Luckily, that doesn’t happen too often, but still they serve as a good reminder when we examine our own “story.”
Like our reluctant hero, do we take up the gauntlet and pursue goals that challenge us…or do we sit back and defer the chance to better ourselves and our world? What about relationships? Do we cultivate friends who help us to grow in our faith and character…or do we get stuck in neutral, following the crowd?
And every good story has a Mentor, helping the hero on his journey. Do we feed our spirit, deepening our faith in God…or do we think of Him only when it’s convenient?
Living in a world dazzled by mind-numbing electronics, Hollywood gods, and a mindset that Tweets more about Miley Cyrus than about Jesus, it’s difficult to stay focused and “move our plot forward.” So, the next time you pick up a good book—or THE Good Book—think about where your own journey is headed.
What’s your story? Will it be a bestseller?