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Jaanus Silla

2022-05-29 12:04:10

"The Emotional Craft of Fiction - Story beneath the surface" Donald Maass

"What is it that brings human beings peace? Lasting, deep down contentment, satisfaction, well-being, and fulfillment? Partly it is self-acceptance. That’s the job of the inner journey. Solving problems is matched by a transformation inside. Inner struggle is complete, and a new person steps forward. Not only are plot problems resolved, but a protagonist achieves wholeness, too. But that’s only part of true peace. What comes after plot resolution and personal growth? Healing the world.

Each of us cannot be truly at peace until the rest of us are, too. That’s why we put dimes in cardboard slots for charity, clear litter from highways, serve on church committees, march in Washington, blog about important issues, bust up fights, buy shoes for needy kids, sponsor impoverished children in Peru, pray, walk for the cure, and walk on the moon. We are not at peace until we not only care about things but also do something about them and make a difference. We are world citizens.

When the world becomes a better place, we become better people. Our satisfaction is deeper. Our contentment turns to hope and our fear of death diminishes. In story terms this means that the job is not finished at HEA, the happiness of your protagonist, but when we know that everyone else in your protagonist’s world will be okay, too. ...

The highest human good is not gaining happiness, but giving back. Happiness brings a smile and gladness of heart, and that’s fine, but selfless actions bring joyful tears and enduring gratitude. So think of it this way: Have your protagonist change your world—your fictional world—and you will change your readers, too."

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