#NaNoWriMo2015–Get to the Heart of Your Story (writing tip #19)

Okay, for today’s tip, here I go again, talking about staying curious about what your protagonist wants. And, remember, our fictional heroes are extreme–they go after what they want with an intensity that can be frightening and invigorating and freeing. They are bigger than life and we can watch them slip and slide and struggle and push and yearn and obsess to the extreme, whether their story is a tragedy or a comedy.

So back to the want. I wrote a very personal blog post a few years ago about going through the death of my marriage and how the experience changed my whole conception of what “family” means because I had to surrender what I thought was the meaning of family and I had to accept a new vision in order to heal and begin to move forward again in life. In fact my ex and I are doing a good job of co-parenting our daughter.

But I was reminded today of the fact that a part of me will always long for that original vision of family. Even though I know accepting what I needed–what we all needed–was the beginning of our healing. Even though I understand that achieving my want was impossible.

Still I ache sometimes when I remember for a moment the old dream I had of family. I will always have those moments that trigger the old yearning. I know that my yearning connects back to a very early wound. That’s okay, we grow, we move on.

But remember, your protagonist is like you in the respect that if her want is love and connection because she feels she will finally be whole if only she can find that love from someone in the world–and when she ultimately realizes that she must learn to love and accept herself before she can truly open to love from another…well, she will be wiser and more whole…and she will still have a part of her that longs, maybe aches, for that perfect love.

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