Listen. Think. Speak. Write.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nano Plotting and Life Stages?

I love all the blog posts about NaNoWriMo strategy. Twitter is abuzz. Kick off parties are scheduled. Writing buddies are connecting. My favorite post of the week was one by Martha Alderson on Lia Keyes' blog. How to Plot Your Writing Time During the Month of November looks at how to plan word count goals around the Universal Story/major story development points. Based on her book, The Plot Whisperer, Alderson offers excellent advice for writers. 

But enough about writing ... for now. What does this have to do with life stages? I love stories. I adore a great story arc. I get so excited to teach storytelling in Public Speaking class and to watch students come alive. Our lives are filled with so many stories. Some we tell frequently. Others we guard.  But looking at the concept of a Universal Story with its five parts, I started thinking about one's entire life as a story. Anderson divides the story into these components:

Energetic Markers

End of the Beginning Scene

The Halfway Point Scene

The Crisis

The Climax

My heart sank. I'm at roughly the halfway point of my life story (I hope). The crisis yet to come? What the heck?  I though my beginning scenes were pretty full of them. But then my heart climbed back into its rightful place. The climax doesn't come until the end. Of course! I drill in my students all the time how important it is to wrap up quickly after the climax because you just bore your audience after that.  Now, I'm smiling. I've been feeling old. A little washed up. Wondering what's left.  Oh goodness, look at that.  I'm still in the rising conflict mode.  That's scary and thrilling at the same time.  There's still so much story to tell, and clearly, the moral still awaits discovery. 

Yesterday, when I went for volunteer training at a local nursing home, a man in a wheelchair greeting me with, "Hello, young lady."  Perspective. A good time to take stock of where I am in my story.  Where are you?

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Lots of food for thought. Yes, art imitates life, but IMHO, the difference in writing a story and living one is, we don't know whether we've reached our story's climax or where it's going to end. In fiction we have the answers to these questions/mysteries. Fiction gives us the illusion of control.