Excerpt: Foreign Correspondant

…I’m going to a benefit at my favorite bar on Sunday for a girl who broke her neck zip lining and is now paralyzed. She’s only 25, and she was a dance instructor. I can’t imagine what she’s going through.

I also can’t imagine how my friend with the 2 young kids feels. She and her family just moved back to our hometown, and she’s…having trouble. She’s also 25. It truly amazes me, how different people’s journeys are, ya know? Everyone has a story, and that story is constantly changing. This one girl is learning to feed herself again [as she regains movement in her arms], my other friend is trying to raise 2 kids…you’re across the world…and here I am wandering around trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life…

There’s a screenwriting book I really like that talks about this element of a script that they call “stasis = death.” The idea is that you put your protagonist in a situation where something absolutely needs to change for the character. This happens near the beginning. The character can sense that the change is coming, and then essentially, the rest of the story is about the change itself and the struggle involved. A person’s life isn’t a single plot line, but many running at the same time, and those stories aren’t all at the same plot point. All these pieces are part of the big picture, yeah? Well, I feel right now that most of my plot lines, and therefore my life as a whole, are at “stasis = death” moments. I mad absolutely need some change in my life, and I’m doing my best to make that happen.

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