The trauma/adversity experience shows up in every story. It is the context for the transformation to more life or more death. In Joseph Campbell’s authoritative Monomyth, sometimes called the Hero’s Journey, most of the elements of myth (story) are in the dark, the unconscious, and the life-threatening. They are rife with fear, doubt, threat, temptation, conflict, and sacrifice. The protagonist transcends independence and becomes interdependent - with a boon to bestow upon their fellow humans.
Every other part of the story is either heading toward or coming out of Mordor, the threat of Empire, the fight with Cobra Kai, the barbarian horde, pirates, the wilderness, cancer, the Matrix, or zombies. It is a crucible. The character’s essence is revealed, demonstrated, tested, and refined. And they can never do it alone. There is always a small community of characters, including a guide (Gandalf, Yoda, Mr. Miyagi, Merlin, Flint, Rafiki, the doctor(s), Morpheus, or your Zombie Survival Guide). This community and the guide give clarity and courage. They share the burden until the character absorbs enough of their strength to emerge as their transcendent self.
Character - wants to have, do, or be something (that they think gets them belonging)
Crucible - the threat/obstacle to their want AND the transformational experience
Community - the other characters in the story, including a guide
Change - the alteration from independent to interdependent, with a boon for community
These are the ingredients of a story. You can see them in any movie or book that keeps you engaged. And they are in your story. You can use them as a framework for sharing stories that reveal the essential you without even knowing what you are describing.
What is your favorite book or movie and how do the elements of story show up?
The whole hassle, the fascination, and the necessity of deconstruction (a currently popular version of our ongoing exploration of and hunt for truth and meaning), at least for me, hingeson belonging and the the legitimacy of story as our framework for building it. Story is the perspective of experience. Somehow, God’s perspective, all of humanity’s perspective for all of history, and the perspective each of us is having at every moment are converging and either cooperating or clashing. How can we fit it all together - in our shared story.
I write in a geeky, sciency, hopefully poetic way about belonging, storytelling, community building, deconstruction and construction,