Change is a function of plot.
I can not tell you how many times I have written this in reports for clients. When we write stories we deal with what happens to our characters. Characters must change even if outwardly they look the same at the end of the story, inside they have been changed. They have been changed by who they met along the way and what happened to them. Why else do we tell the story? It’s where the meaning comes from.
And so I have been thinking about that change. How we can use the story arc to chart the change in a character, or what we call the ‘character arc’ to show how characters develop, face fears, learn from other characters, teach other characters: in fact, as in life, characters assume multiple roles. So I urge you to look a little deeper at your own characters.
The process of writing itself allows us to learn about our characters …
… and so as we write more and more drafts of a story, so we add more and more layers, allowing a character to deepen and to grow. It’s a metaphor for our own lives in many ways.
It is the journey that shapes who we are.
Next week I go off to LA and while I’m there sees the tenth anniversary since I lost the love of my life. Lee. It hardly seems possible. Writing has been the thing that has saved me and allowed me to build a protective bubble around myself and inside that cocoon allowed the stories to grow and me to develop both my writing… and as a person. So I am not the person I was ten years ago. After the heartache I learned to grow, to see the world differently, perhaps to appreciate things differently. And I like the person I am now. I do not like what happened to Lee but nothing can change that, but I like that I am happy now and doing what I love every day. That will never change: I am who I want to be.
But like those characters where we can add more layers, lately something unexpected and wonderful happened and I can see the changes coming again. Changes that will enhance my life and my writing I’m sure. I am beginning to see that love is possible again if I let it in, someone new and lovely has come into my life and is showing me this. So it feels like the circle is being completed, like something is ending (but will never be forgotten) and now it’s time to see a new beginning.
Life, like writing, is a journey.
I will always write.
I will always love.
I will always change.
It’s time to embrace that.
So change isn’t just a function of plot, it is a function of life… and we need to learn how to embrace that…
Have a lovely weekend everyone.