28 June 2011

The Universal Story

Thanks to the plot consultations I do with writers from all over the world, the plot workshops and retreats I’ve taught and the novels, memoirs and screenplays I've analyzed, I have come to believe that every scene in every book is part of a Universal Story that flows throughout our lives, both in our imaginations and in the reality that surrounds us.

Every story ever told participates in this universal pattern as words grow and expand into sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. What is left after the end of the story has the potential to transform not only the writer but all those who read the story as well.

I teach the Universal Story to writers through plot. Though difficult to accomplish successfully, plot is critical to stories. As I continue to teach and write and consult, I gain new insights into plot . . . and into writers’ lives.

You bring to your writing, your art, and your stories a piece of yourself. In return, the act of creating gives you the possibility of something even greater: true transformation.

The better your understanding of how to integrate the energy of the Universal Story into your story, you come to understand yourself better. You begin to see your writing in a different light. The ways you interact with your writing and with the world around you shifts.

Be forewarned, though. Writing a story can expand your everyday life; it can also destroy the person you are now. Commit to your own journey as your protagonist embarks on hers. Explore your true essence. Whether you emerge from the experience better or worse is your choice. But I believe the act of writing offers you the possibility of transformation.

Your imagination allows you to see worlds invisible to others. Imagine the Universal Story into reality and reclaim a miraculous and mysterious way of being.

More about the Universal Story is coming in The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of the Universal Story Structure Any Writer Can Master in October and is now available for pre-order. 

In the meantime, for tips about the Universal Story and writing a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. A directory of all the steps to the series is to the right of this post. Enjoy!