Writing A Good Life Story

In First-Second Degree bubble awareness, my life matters to me in perhaps the same way your life matters to you. I want to live my life to its fullest – doing things I like to do when I want to do them. I want to love who and when I wish, dislike who or whatever whenever, enjoy as much as possible as often as possible, and be happy all the time. At the end, I want to look back at my life and feel I’ve left a good story – one that feels compelling, joyful, useful, and most of all, interesting – at the very least, not boring!

As portrayed in The Truman Show, I’m writing my life story “off the cuff” and “as it occurs.” With little to no storytelling experience or education, I can’t expect to write the perfect novel.

And that’s the rub for me. How do I write a good story when I don’t know how to do that?

Well, as it happens, nature provided me a way to write the perfect novel. It’s called consciousness. In addition, nature has also provided me with a special gift I call awareness. So – I’m not just writing anything; I’m not just writing the same old story; I’m writing this life story with conscious awareness. That last bit makes quite a difference in the quality of the novel I’m writing.

Conscious awareness brings me to the purpose of writing…

The Conveyance of Meaning

Reading and writing are of no value without meaning, which is always personal – what it means to me. Meaning requires some mechanism for interpretation. Thus the purpose of such work in fields like archeology where ancient scripts must be interpreted to portray some understanding of the location and its inhabitants. I do this every second as I think, act, and sense feedback.

A story in my head is just an idea until I “write” it onto a page of reality with meaning through action and interpreted feedback. I may think about getting up and taking a walk in the park, for example. That isn’t quite the same thing as actually getting up and walking in the park, sensing my actions as I go along.

Consider stories you’ve enjoyed reading or watching. Most have common elements that good storytellers know well. According to Watts, these include:

  1. A setting – the context of the story. This would include the characters and their characteristic behaviors, and perspectives.
  2. A trigger – a question that sets the story into action.
  3. A quest – a search to resolve the question inherent in the trigger that gives the story a line of progression from all possibilities to one probable end.
  4. Surprises – obstacles, challenges, and conflicts designed to engage the person reading or hearing the story.
  5. A choice – in validating the quest, duality and separation give the story a sense of direction.
  6. A climax – a situation of high tension that gives meaningful feeling to the story.
  7. A reversal – an effect of a causal choice gives the story reasoning and probability – reality.
  8. A resolution – a satisfactory change in setting – transformation.

What would you title your life story?

How have you included some or all of the elements above?

Why have you written it as you have so far?

Who is writing your life story?

Resource:

  1. Nigel Watts’ “Writing A Novel and Getting Published” (ISBN-13: 978-0340648070)

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