“No one wants to read a book about how the protagonist sat around thinking about all the things she wanted to do.”
My friend was talking about a recent revelation she had after analyzing a number of fiction best-sellers.
“The audience wants to see the characters take action. Action produces conflict. Conflict is exciting. Conflict helps characters develop. It offers the opportunity to triumph.”
She was right. And she was taking her lesson to the streets. She decided to act like the protagonist she would want to read about in the story of her life. While on a run, she passed by Boudin’s (the San Francisco bakery famous for its sourdough) and thought that it’d be cool to learn how to make bread. But instead of just letting that thought sit as she continued her run, she went inside to find the master baker. She took a risk, took action. Now, don’t you want to turn the page and find out what happens next?
The rest of her story is hers to tell someday, but she presents a valuable lesson.
How do you want the story of your life to read? Will it be safe, but with many regrets about what might have been? Or will it be full of risk-taking, mistakes, and interesting lessons?
What type of protagonist do you want to be? Will you sit around and wait for your fairy godmother to come grant your wish? Or will you venture out and seek out what you want?
What will be your greatest challenge or conflict? What will your triumph look like? How will that feel?
And most importantly, what action will you take right now to drive your story forward?