Posts Tagged "Life"

Life, the Universe, and Try/Fail Cycles

Plot Line Graph by Wendell Wellman

Plot Line Graph by Wendell Wellman

Inciting Incident

Our career minded heroine, a single mother, decides to prepare for the next step up the corporate ladder by making herself more marketable. She realizes that she has the skills and experience, but lacks the education. While researching business degrees and IT certifications she suddenly realizes that she has no desire to complete said education, or even to continue in her career track. Upon introspection, she realizes that her dream of being a writer, thought dead at age 13, has never really left her. She decides to dedicate herself to writing.

First Turning Point

Our heroine discovers Nanowrimo. Her thoughts are filled with the tantalizing idea of writing her first novel in only 30 days. She knows that it can’t be that easy, but she is determined to try. She has had a story idea bouncing in her head for 10 years, and decides to make it a book. In a frenzy of information overload she reads 12 books on writing in a month, and listens to nine seasons of the Writing Excuses podcast. She joins a writing group, and invests $300 to create her own website. She outlines her novel. She decides to start getting up at 4am each morning and write from 4-6 am.

Pinch Point One

After two weeks of getting up at 4am our heroine realizes that this strategy is not going to work. On the days she actually wakes up that early she is so tired that she only writes a few paragraphs. She becomes irritable, and frequently looses patience with her children who, at ages 3 and 5, do not understand what she is trying to do, or why it requires peace and quiet. She realizes that her writing time is not going to be able to come out of her sleep time if she wants to be able to function mentally and write. She begins taking time after work to write. They stakes rise when her children start to misbehave and throw tantrums because she has been paying them less attention. She books her son an appointment with a counselor.


Our heroine realizes that she is not going to obtain instant success in 30 days. She decides to keep trying to do Nanowrimo even though she is way behind on her word count. She decides to keep moving towards her goal of becoming a published author even though there aren’t shortcuts and this could take years. She also decides that obtaining this goal cannot come at the cost of her children’s well being. She will continue to write when she can. She decides to buy David Farland‘s online course, The Story Puzzle, and continue to hone her craft through the slow wonderful slog of practice. The midpoint of this story could last years, and, unlike the 3 act structure, will likely contain more than 3 try/fail cycles.

The rest of the 3 act structure will be determined as our heroine continues her journey.

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