All of us are captivated by story in at least one of its many forms: short-story or classic novel, fiction or non; written or oral; movies or theater; comedy or drama; biography or autobiography.

What is it about narrative that grabs our attention?

Great copy has several key components: plot, character development, a problem or a crises, a solution and an ending. Which element most holds you captive? Or is it a combination of several of these?

Well-written drama holds our attention for hours

A good tale both entertains and encourages; stirs deep emotions; make us laugh or cry. As the plot unfolds our focus is drawn to the protagonist, Will he face the challenge, do what’s right in the face of danger, or right the wrong. This is the drama that motivates us to respond and even motivates to act ourselves. In our mind’s eye we often enter the tale from the perspective of our own experiences. We are moved to revisit scenes, events, or relationships from our own adventure.

Story is so powerful because it embodies what is at the heart of daily life, our very existence. Our own lives are telling a story. “Alias, we are a story.”

What kind of script are you writing?

It goes without saying that, a good chronicle shares an important lesson, or leads us to observe a pivotal theme (s). It has to make a point. If that is true in the drama we read and watch, then it is also true in our lives as well. So let me ask, what tale are you writing with your life?

Let me illustrate the importance of this with a review of some movie favorites. I selected four. Each of them stirs deep reactions when I watch them:

Movie examples

Seabiscuit – The crux of this saga reveals that crises can be a doorway to something magnificent, especially when those who are thrown into it choose to use their strengths to uplift others.

Hacksaw Ridge – Defeat and extreme adversity can be overcome. We watch as one self-sacrificing, committed private transforms disaster into salvation for scores of fellow soldiers.

Hidden Figures – This drama challenges stereotypes. It show us that even if others have a tarnished view of your worth, through stick-to-itive-ness, you can make a serious contribution.

The Zookeeper’s wife – A couple in Warsaw, Poland teaches us that oppressive evil cannot keep good people from doing what’s right.

These movies share a common thread: Adversity can’t stop those who are determined to do what’s right.

So what’s on the pages of the story you are writing?

When you look back over the narrative of your life can you see any common threads? Do you recognize any common themes, patterns, or lessons learned? After you’re gone, what reaction will people have to the narrative you have written?

It would be wise to ask yourself, “What point is my life making that’s worth being copied by others?

You still have time to do a rewrite, add a compelling chapter and finish the book that others will want to read.

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