While reading about the underlying structure of stories, I began to map my own story onto the classic structure. Whether through projection or reflection, the part about change began resonating with me.
change, and the internal struggle a character must undergo in order to achieve it. We’ve seen that in three-dimensional stories the protagonist goes on a journey to overcome their flaw. They learn the quality they need to achieve their goal; or, in other words, they change. Change is thus inextricably linked to dramatic desire: if a character wants something, they are going to have to change to get it. – John Yorke, Into the Woods
I began to wonder: What is the exact nature of the change I need to make in order to resolve my story in a happy ending? What is the specific flaw (from the array of flaws I am currently aware of) that I need to overcome?
I also could not help but consider the stories and dramas of people I know. What are their challenges, and what are their characters’ flaws? How and what would they need to change to get what they desire?
I guess we are involved in many stories at the same time, layered and interconnected. Pick and choose one by purely subjective significance.
If you had a breakthrough recently #
Depending on where you locate any one of your stories on the following Roadmap to Change (also from Yorke’s book), you might feel like you have just got it, the “key knowledge”. Maybe you are experimenting with it and enjoying your new power. But in the structure of all stories that could mean you are actually on the midpoint, after which Act 4 will bring an unexpected crisis, including doubt, reluctance and regression.
The Roadmap to Change #
– Image source: https://sfhopkins.com/2013/09/12/change/
I think both directions of advice work here:
- Don’t take your story too serious.
- Or, maybe you need to take your story more serious.