Friday, March 09, 2007

Using My Life Arc as an Example of a Good Character Arc

A compelling thought just entered my brain that has plagued me for years and has a personal touch to it but touches upon narrative somewhat. It has to do with me. . .and partially with the arguments I've had lately and over the last few years. It also gets me thinking about getting into the heads of characters I write.

The idea feels almost too pretentious, too Russian. . .it reminds me of a poem or short story I read for college by, I think, Leo Tolstoy. I can't think of the play's name, and I don't think it directly relates. If I brought up, people would probably just go, "huh?" I bring up thoughts and ideas like that. . ..

But, in essence, this thought of mine has to do with how I use to think more rationally and supportive than I do now and didn't really let go to my passions or emotions. Another thought has to do with throwing away my intelligence, education, good sense and so on and so forth to have more success socially, have more friends and more girlfriends. Nowadays, I kind of miss that cool-headed me and feel happy with my fate.

Despite making more peace with the cool-headed me from the past, though, I appreciate that I allow myself to let go of my good sense to the passions. I kind of miss the rationally supportive connections I've had in the past with people from my cool head, even though I don't miss the loneliness that came from a less natural and more anxious presenation of myself.

Nowadays, I act both more spontaneously in some ways and more determined and deliberate in other ways than I have in the past. My relations sometimes meet tension from my self in the present, but you know what? Even with that tension, I feel more sincere connections with people than I did during my cool-headed days. I could stay out of trouble and led a prudent life, but I felt isolated and unhappy.

Deep down, I have the feeling that I will return to a more cool-headed, contemplative and prudent version of myself. When that sense of being comes again, though, I believe that I won't feel the isolation that I had felt before. They will reconcile each other when that time comes again, the prudence and the natural emotional connection with the people and the world around me. I find it hard to get back to the cool-headed version because I enjoy the connection so much, but I also remember the value that cool-headed me had for myself and the people around me.

This starting at one point, experiencing a fall from grace for the passionate flesh then reconciling feels like a great character arc. The really great part comes from the fact that the fall from grace has to happen. Before, I didn't FEEL the connections with the world, even if the prudence had value and people appreciated me and my emotional support. For real grace beyond the cool-headed prudence of my youth, however, I need to go through a time of exposing and losing myself in the passions and emotions of humanity. It will bring me the wisdom of experience, defeat and victory that will help me more sincerely connect rather than acting out some kind of wisdom without true understanding and knowledge.

Someday, it will make a great story, maybe even a very enjoyable memoir. I would like to embody this tale more often in my narrative stories, though, along with many other forms of narration. Such a variety that I can imagine, and I have to go through a process of experimentation similar to my life arc to make each of the stories great in a way that will connect with the reader. So exciting, yet so frustrating. . ..

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