Story Class 1.7 – The gentle breezes of dawn and dusk

The gentle breezes of dawn and dusk…
have secrets to tell
Don’t go back to sleep…

You must ask for what you truly want…
Don’t go back to sleep…

People are passing …back and forth
Across the threshold,
where the two worlds meet…
Don’t go back to sleep…

The door is big and round…
Don’t go back to sleep!

–          Rumi

Thank you Margaret for this lovely quote! I will use it more often. It is so apt.

Thank you to the rest of you for a most memorable story evening. The kind of un structured improvisation I used last night is one of the most difficult things to master and all of you did extremely well. Although some of you were out of your depth at times, you allowed the story and the other characters to carry you until you were able to contribute again. I was most amazed.

Who knew Friar Charles would sacrifice himself for the triplets?

Who knew old Bluh could be a baby minder?

Who knew Lady Ishtar could let her betrothed be with the women he truly loved?

Or that Ereshkigar was so ravenous as to lose herself in the face of nourishment – she who seemed to have it all?

As promised, here are the template points for the last stage of the journey: The Return with the elixir:

The last stage of the journey starts with the hero’s resolve to cross the threshold back to her own world, although sometimes she is chased across it. Often she experiences setbacks on her return which threaten to rekindle the flaw, addiction or desire that she had supposedly overcome in the ordeal.

V. The Return: Transforming Your World  
The Road Back.   Hero rededicates to change. Harmony can only be achieved by working through the underlying reason for the crisis Finally…(hero returns)
Resurrection Hero makes a final attempt at difficult change. Old behaviour is released and new behaviour is internalized. Now every day/from that day on…(a new state of normality is reached)
Return with the Elixir. At last the hero masters the problem. Communitas (sense of togetherness and unity) and new meaning is attained. At last…(hero is healed and with her the community)

The lesson learned in the ordeal will be put to the final test as the hero faces death and Resurrection.  The hero must provide external proof of the change in her character by her behaviour or appearance.  It is one thing to learn something of oneself in the Special World; it is another to apply that knowledge back home in the ordinary world.  This is like Ishtar allowing Tamuz and Evelyn to raise their children together and giving up her betrothal.

Having provided proof of growth, the hero may now Return with the Elixir, the item or the wisdom that can heal her wound and perhaps that of her world.  The story may end neatly with all loose ends tied or it may have an open ending.  Either way the hero gives her world and/or the audience a new perspective. Clearly the triplets are the Elixir of our story.

The above is an excerpt from an article I wrote on story structure and you can use it for the completion of your story for next week.

Just remember the golden rule: the template is just a way into the story, but once the story flows it leads the way, not the template. Always trust the spontaneous flow over the analytical temptation of the template.

Also, as you complete your story, remember that different characters may have experienced certain moments of their journeys in different places in relation to the others. This is art, not science – let the gentle breezes of dawn and dusk lead you.

Next week I would like to spend some time looking at your personal story.  How will your story end? Will your story carry beyond the boundaries of your life to the lives of others?

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