Dose of Don: Entry Ten

It’s been almost one month since I’ve posted a Dose of Don entry, but in that time I’ve been revisiting A Million Miles in a Thousand Years quite a bit.

Reading the book gave me inspiration to start writing stories with my life, and now that I’ve begun to do so I need encouragement to follow through – because that’s the hardest part:

“Here’s the truth about telling stories with your life. It’s going to sound like a great idea, and you are going to get excited about it, and then when it comes time to do the work, you’re not going to want to do it. It’s like that with writing books. It’s like that with life. People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain” (Miller 99-100).

That’s actually  not the quotation that I wanted to write about today. It’s just the prologue. I’m going to backtrack a little bit in the book to revisit the topic of resistance, since that’s where I found myself last week when I tried to follow through on the “What If” challenge.

From the chapter Negative Turns:

“A story is made up of turns, Robert McKee says. Once an ambition has been decided, a positive turn is an event that moves the protagonist closer to the ambition, and a negative turn moves the protagonist away from his ambition. All stories have both. If a story doesn’t have negative turns, it’s not an interesting story. A protagonist who understands this idea lives a better story. He doesn’t give up when he encounters a setback, because he knows that every story has both positive and negative turns” (Miller 119).

“As Kathy told me [her] story, I thought about the resistance. I thought about the fear of finding my dad, of talking to the girl, of hiking the Inca Trail, and suddenly the resistance had a darker feel, a thieving feel, as if something tangible and powerful were taking our beautiful stories away” (Miller 118).

“…I kept resisting my story. But you can only do that for so long. It’s true what Steven Pressfield says: there is a force resisting the beautiful things in the world, and too many of us are giving in. The world needs for us to have courage, Robert McKee says…The world needs for us to write something better” (Miller 118).


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