04 September 2011

Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

A writer I work with grapples with a problem I often see. She loves her story SO much and thinks the plot is so cool that she is afraid she is going to ruin it by writing it. Her fear, at the least, slows down her progress toward her goal. At the most, her fear prevents her from reaching her goal.

Throughout a story and throughout your life, the energy of the Universal Story rises and falls.

Antagonists, because their role is to prevent or delay the protagonist (and you) from successfully reaching her goal, always cause the energy to rise.

Imagine a story (and your life) as a conflict between energies of light and dark. The energy shifts back and forth between the protagonist and the antagonists. The antagonists represent darkness as they strive to keep the protagonist as she currently exists. The protagonist represents the light in the struggle to evolve. Change is never easy, and a protagonist bound in the darkness of her backstory and locked in repetitive patterns dictated by her flaw will necessarily struggle. When the protagonist pushes toward her desire, she directs the energy. Internal and external forces (antagonists) push against her.

A protagonist who wants something enough to take action against all the antagonists within and without creates a story and a dramatic life.

Learn to see the antagonists as reflections of who you are now in your journey. Rather than despairing and feeling victimized, explore the meaning of the antagonists in your life. Such an exploration leads to transformation.

To read more:
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of the Universal Story Structure Any Writer Can Master released by Adams Media October 2011. Available now for pre-order!

For immediate tips about the Universal Story and writing a novel, memoir or screenplay, visitPlot 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!