The Simple Truth About Storytelling and Life

THE FACTS OF LIFE

Life can be confusing. There are so many different forces pulling us in so many different directions, so many different voices influencing us, so many different commitments to keep and responsibilities to undertake. 

And when it comes to writing a story…particularly the Western Warrior Epic of Old…things can get even more confusing. 

Lucky for you, there’s a simple answer.

Whether you’re writing a Western Warrior Epic of Old, or you’re just living your life day to day, a simple truth will make things a heckuva lot easier on your road called life. 

And just what is this simple truth you ask? 

The simple truth is that all life is based upon two things:

  • Goals 
  • Conflicts 

GOALS

All creatures are Goal-Centered Beings. They want something. Maybe it’s food when they’re hungry. Maybe it’s love and affection when they’re lonely. Maybe it’s a worthy foe to test themselves against. 

No matter what the Goal, it’s the nature of life that all creatures on earth…from the lowliest Ameoba all the way to the smartest super-Genius…are all Goal Seeking Beings.

Know the Goals, and you know the Person.

But Goals are not the end of it.

CONFLICT

All of life is built on conflict. How so? 

To see what I mean, get out of your chair, stand up, and walk a few steps.

The only thing that keeps you from flying away into space when you stand up is gravity. It fights the forces of vacuum and wins, and keeps you planted on the ground.

The only thing that keeps you from being stuck in one place is friction. When you walk, friction rubs against your feet. Your feet fight the forces of friction and win, allowing you to move wherever you wish.

Without these opposing forces fighting each other until one wins…gravity vs. vacuum, feet vs. friction…basic human life would not exist.

And once Goals and Conflict are married together, then you have Life.

Then you have a Story!

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

So in life, we have two things:

  • Goals 
  • Conflicts 

You want something, it could be anything. You’ve got to fight and beat an enemy to get it. That enemy could be anything, too. 

Think back to your English 101 class way back when in High School. I’m sure they gave you a bullet point list of different kinds of conflict. It probably looked something like this: 

  • Man vs. Man
  • Man vs. Nature 
  • Man vs. Machine
  • Man vs. Society
  • Man vs. Himself 

These are all the different kinds of conflicts possible, between Mankind and all of his potential foes. Whatever Mankind wants…and it could be anything…he’s got to overcome one of those foes. 

What exactly is that Mankind in all of its infinite variety and wonder…particularly as it relates to the Western Warrior Epic of Old? 

Read on in our next installment to find out! 

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