Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Watching The Cycles ~ The Trends In Life…


Writers are attuned to what they call “Arcs”—cycles of character development and plot unfoldment.

Yet, some don’t turn around (or, inside-out) and realize they have Arcs in their writing-life

Their characters must reach certain goals and are impeded by certain challenges.

So are the writers

The character bemoans a current crisis yet flounders on, finding a reward at the end of the struggle.

So does the writer

What I’m suggesting is that a writer can come to the awareness that they’re a character in their own life-story.

Of course, when they craft some fiction, they have more knowledge than their characters.

And, the writer doesn’t always know the rest of the story in their own life—can’t see the rewards their struggles are are evolving toward.

Often, the process of maturing, as a human and a writer, leads to an ability to see the “end” in the “beginning”—feel the shape of the future.

Plus, there are studies in human psychology that can make one aware of generic cycles of development—the “outline” of a life on earth

You may want to read the work of a particular journalist, Gail Sheehy, to begin becoming aware of the “Passages” of Life, for yourself or your characters.

“As the bestselling author of 16 books, including Passages, Gail Sheehy has rocked the culture and changed the way millions of women and men around the world look at the stages of their lives….Passages (1976) remained on The New York Times bestseller list for more than three years and has been reprinted in 28 languages….As a literary journalist, Ms. Sheehy…won the Washington Journalism Review Award for Best Magazine Writer in America for her in-depth character portraits of national and world leaders…”

Can a journalist teach you psychology?

Ms. Sheehy seems to have done her homework.

Can a study of life passages apply to all individuals?

I’d say we’re more the same than we’re different…

Watch this video (about her book, New Passages). It might help you decide if this woman can teach you something about your life, as well as how to create your characters’ Life-Arcs


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One response to “Watching The Cycles ~ The Trends In Life…

  1. Pingback: Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #22 — The Book Designer

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