THE STORY ONLY YOU CAN TELL – Part 5

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EXERCISE 4

            Briefly identify each of the following for the example below and then for your own autobiography:

1. your story’s final pivotal event–(climax).

            A turning point that could be the end of my story where something in me died so something could live or be born?

2.  the initial scene

            With what scene was I aware of the problem that would result in the final climax? 

3.         Your problem/desire

            What incited my problem, whether I was aware of it or not?  What did I want  in response to this?

 4.         Adversaries or obstacles

             Was there a person, people or factors that stood in the way of the achieving  my desire?

5.         Interim scenes  (use events/desires from Exercise 1C) 

List at least five other scenes or events that mirrored and intensified my problem in different ways?

                        a.

                        b.

                        c.

                        d.

                        e.

6.         Realization

            What did you realize at the moment of transformation that made the

transformation possible?  Did something in your behavior change as a result of the realization?  

Here is an example. The conflict is over having a second child (it might be stated in mor general terms as: How do I keep the space I need to grow as an individual, yet stay close enough to my husband to keep love alive in our marriage?

1.    Richard told me when we were dating that he wanted a big family. I wanted him and that sounded romantic to me.

2.    We were both overjoyed when I delivered John.

3.    Richard was supportive when I went back to work because we needed the money.   

4.    I got a promotion.  Now I was making more than Richard.  It made me feel in control of my own life for the first time.  Richard was silent about it, except he made jokes about my being head of the family.

5.    John started begging to have a little brother or sister.  I knew Richard had been  encouraging him.  Richard reminded me that our plan was t have a big family.  I said it wasn’t the right time.

6.    I saw there was a chance to become director of the arts center and I knew I wanted this and I would be devastated if I didn’t get it.

7.    Richard joined a Christian church and started taking John on Sundays. I used the  time to catch up on work.  I felt their disapproval.

8.    Richard got a promotion at his job.  It made him more confident and fun at home.

9.    We took a long-planned trip to Europe without John. Unexpectedly it was like a second honeymoon.

10. The director of the arts center announced his resignation.

11. I discovered I was pregnant. I wept.

12. I knew if I told Richard I was pregnant he would never forgive me for not having the child.

13. I became irritable and started to have morning sickness, which I tried to hide.

14. Richard was more kind than ever, which made me feel guilt. I almost told him I was pregnant, but I lost my courage.

15. My friend took me to get an abortion.

16. If Richard ever suspected, he didn’t say anything.  But something had died between us. Trust.

17. I got the directorship.  I knew I had made the right choice. I loved my position and the power that came with it.  This was all my life, what I was meant to do.

18.  Richard and I began to live very busy and independent lives, and he never again  mentioned having another child.

19. Now so many years later when John himself has three children and Richard and I are comfortably retired, but not really close. I still believe I made the right choice for me, but I often wish I’d had the courage to tell Richard and we’d fought it out, instead of  each of us taking a solitary, silent road.

Once you have put these elements in order, turn to your own story and try to do the same.

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