People as Stories

At the Echo Conference, Donald Miller told the story of the screenwriters who wanted to make a movie out of his book, Blue Like Jazz. For him, it was an odd experience to meet with people in front of a white board to talk about his life as a story. (He also went into how they had to change parts of his life to make him interesting enough to be a movie!)

As Don spoke, I captured the major thoughts. Here, a month after I've heard them, they are still interesting to me to read and think about.

A character is what they do. You are out of what you do.

The hero can't think more of himself than of others.

What does the character want? What we want matters.
Best ones? Dire consequences if they don't get what they want.
Best, best ones? The hero has to sacrifice to get what he/she wants.

What we want determines the quality of the story.

Ask yourself, if this character dies what dies with them?

The more you have sacrifice the more you love.

What the character wants has to be so beautiful that it is worth sacrificing for. Worth experiencing pain for.

Story is the only thing that changes us. Pain is the only thing that changes the characters.

Jesus never gives the moral to the story.

Mother Teresa said, "I sir have never had clarity. What I have had is trust."

"Don't fear" is the most common command given in scripture.

In the movie, Friday Night Lights, the team didn't win. We don't have to win to create a good story. The writers chose to write the tragedy version saying that in the year this team lost, the team sacrificed more and that was why the story was so beautiful.

People are drawn to the better storyline. Characters who want something noble draw people to them who want to improve their own stories.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall