Not all story arcs reach for the stars.
Some story arcs are gently rolling hills and plateaus. Now I just have to get the inner critics to agree.
Here’s what led me to this train of thought; I was meditating and a worry cloud drifted in. My new novel is forming well but didn’t seem to be going anywhere. There was no big story climax on the horizon. Then I realized that’s OK. I’ve read and enjoyed many novels that had no car crashes or explosions.
Now that I’ve gotten over that for my current novel, I realize that was the problem with the recently abandoned novel as well. I was forcing all the characters into an artificial drama that even I couldn’t make sense of. I will however finish the current project before I go back to the other one.
The current novel is the story of a woman’s life. My attempts at plotting have concentrating on some big and explosive way for her to die at the end, but that just doesn’t fit the character or the message I think she is trying to send. Now I realize that she must die quietly and oldly to make her life complete. She is a survivor, so she must survive as long as humanly possible.
I attribute the desire the need for explosions and car chases to an inner critic I call The Manly Man. He thinks I have far too feminine an outlook on life. He’s one of those go big or go home kind of characters, but since he lives in my head he’s already home.
He is usually quieted by a vigorous bike ride and watching a Shakira video or two, but as I’ve managed lately to calm most of my other inner critics he’s gotten pushier. I think he enjoys the increased attention.