Real quick tell me what movie this is. A quirky female is attempting to find her place in the world when she meets up with this guy she can’t stand. Through a twist of fate they are forced together, fall in love, have to overcome an obstacle but end up together and happy ever after. Alright what movie is that? What do you mean that could be one of several hundred movies? Alright what if I tell you it stars Katherine Heigl? What do you mean that it could still be one of several dozen? 🙂 I am quite aware that this sounds like the plot line of every single romantic comedy, but that is kinda my point. My wife loves romantic comedies but they all have the same basic plot lines and hit the same exact beats. With that said I will admit that I actually enjoy some romantic comedies. So how is it that I can enjoy watching basically the same exact movie over and over and over again? Because there is a difference between the story and the journey.
The story is obviously what the book/movie/tv show is all about. But the journey is the telling of how this all comes to be. Take the movie Avatar for example. Same basic story as Dances With Wolves don’t you think? Yet the thing is I really don’t like Dances With Wolves, but Avatar? I can watch me some Avatar. You take the same basic story, change the setting, maybe change the order of a few plot points and BOOM, same story different journey.
To continue with my horrible analogies think of the story as the outside of a twinkie and the journey as the cream filling. Sure the outside of a twinkie looks good enough and makes you interested in trying it out, but what if there isn’t any cream filling in the middle? Do you know how dry that is going to be? No amount of milk is going to make that any better! That is going to be like eating a tube of sand that is covered in sand. I’m sorry what were we talking about again?
The reason I bring this up is because I try to keep this in mind whenever I’m writing. You can have the most amazing story in the world but if the journey is boring nobody is going to want to read it. On the same hand you can have a very basic story but send readers on the most amazing journey they have ever been on.
Hopefully you all understand what I am rambling on about and get my point. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the most interesting or complex story in the world that isn’t all the matters.
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