That’s how I heard the classical story structure described in a writing class. This is not just true for stories, this is also true for life in its twists and turns of creation and recreation and change. It is also true of the creative process itself. Colum McCann recommends “arse in the chair” as the main tool for writing and for “staring down the blank page”. Also applies to other artistic pursuits.
It’s nice when it all comes together in the end, isn’t it? We can see the skies open, hear the orchestral music piping up. For me, it’s very physical, that clicking into place. Like my vertebrae just re-stacked themselves and I can stand straight again after being down in the weeds. Even when the resolution just happened to a thing in my head, it feels of major significance each time.
How does it feel for you?
I just had that over the weekend with the current book I’m writing. Cracking metaphor and therefore structure, and how good that felt that it is now coming together (stay tuned for launch info here). The muddle in the middle feels uncomfortable. We try this and try that, nothing is completely wrong but nothing is quite right either.
This isn’t wasted (although it feels like it at times). This is research, prototyping, seeing what lands and how, and how we and the rest of the world feel about it. A lot of this is semi-hidden, this is not the stuff we make a big fuss about, and a lot of it doesn’t work. At all. We have to make a little fuss though, rope at least a few well-chosen folks in to start the testing. That always feels a bit weird. And then we keep getting feedback, more ideas, we exclude some versions or options that didn’t work.
We keep our ass in the chair. We show up and do the work. And at some point, things will click into place. And that feels like the most beautiful thing in the world.