Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

You’re a Real Character!

July 9, 2012

I thought I might play in the “story line” puddle a little longer. You can read the first post here, if you like. I’ve been thinking about the life story each one of us has. I think our story has genuine potential for impact with others, and it just seemed like a good time to begin thinking about mine so, if you read with me, you’re stuck with this story line idea until I’m finished. It’ll ebb and flow and reflect light and ripple until it feels like it’s time to move on to another glimmering puddle to splash around in.

There is the beginning of a story, and then there is the life and breath of it. In every story much of the heart and soul is all about the people, isn’t it? When I’m reading along, I begin to relate to the characters on some level. If there is good character development, I find my mind unpacking their thoughts, words, actions, and decisions. Love them or hate them, I can probably say I know them. A good author takes the time to introduce each character and reveal enough about them to grab our attention. Sure, there are authors that take shortcuts or need a bit more skill in their writing to really create believable people in their stories. But, what I want to talk about are those writers that can make you weep in the sad moments and celebrate the victories on the page or screen.

My son and I recently watched The Black Stallion. If you’ve seen this movie, you know portions of the film are completely devoid of dialogue. Not a word is spoken, but thousands and thousands of words spill from each image in every frame. By the middle of the film, I found myself tearing up at a particular moment and saying, “Swim, horse, swim!” The main character’s mix of youth and determination just overwhelmed any other characters in the story at times. You’ve got to love that!

I’ll try to bring this post back around to something related to my story thread….

Do you realize you are the main character in your story? Of course. That falls in the category of a “no brainer,” I suppose. But, have you considered that your story, with you as the main character, just might speak as loudly as The Black Stallion to an audience? Maybe the audience is one or two…or a thousand. You’ll sort that out in time, but you are the main character in a story that just might intrigue someone, or a few someones. Have you thought about that?

Give God a little credit here. When He made you, He was very specific about every detail. The way you are wired is no accident, no random thing, no freakish thing. You are everything He created for a purpose. Perhaps the external features you have work well to blend in or stand out in a culture. You may be insecure about them, but you were made that way, and God doesn’t make mistakes. You are exactly who He designed you to be for this life, for your story.

Your heart is ignited by certain things–your gifts, passions, and skill set. Every character in a well-crafted story seems to have these things. You know exactly what moves that person to action, what makes them tick, why they seem to exist in the story, don’t you? Have you thought about what moves you? Why do you seem to exist in your story? This will take time to figure out, especially if your story is a painful one. (I know more about this than I care to admit.) One thing I’m confident of is each of us has a unique purpose. If my “raison d’être” is only to write a few splashes, help my sons grow up, and love my husband well, then that’s what I am all about for the time being. Somewhere deep in my soul, I know it’s more than that, so I wait for the story line clear up for me as I turn pages in my life. (I’m saving that thought for another entry.)

Let me try to bring this entry around to something of a nice, neat package.

Maybe what we might take away from this is something about developing our character a bit, and I’m not talking about some kind of performance-focused personal improvement plan. (I wrote here about something similar to that mind set.) I mean more along the lines of knowing who we are as the main character in our story. Some things we could try to clarify in a sort of “inventory” might be:

  • Who am I? (You have to be intellectually honest here. Be real!)
  • What is unique to me (my appearance, experiences, abilities, and knowledge base)?
  • What really emotionally moves me, excites me, makes me want to get up off my “duff” and do something?
  • How do I typically move through my life story with all this in mind? 
  • How would someone see me, as the main character, “doing life” every day?

This is one of the great questions we answer for ourselves: Who am I, really? It’s so important we don’t lose one important part of the story–who we really are. This isn’t making stuff up about who we want others to perceive us to be. This is all about being the “real deal” in our story. That will take courage!

%d bloggers like this: