Initially, we said that a Process is a step-by-step plan that the MC needs to take to resolve her Conflict and obtain her Desire.
We can visualize our variables using a diagram. The current position, circumstances, conflicts, or results of our MC at the beginning of our story is Point A. Point B represents her Desire. In between Point A and Point B is a line that connects them. This is the Process. It is the storyline. It is the journey she must take to obtain her Desire.
We also said that a General Desire is a Desire that is shared by most members of a community such as the desire for freedom or love. It is a core desire that we can’t decide not to have. If we are a human being, we inherently have this desire.
Let’s Summarize the General Desire into one concept: Joy. This is what every character in the story wants.
So if Joy is the General Desire, then the General Process to obtain it must be identified. This is where I have hypothesized, given my own studies, that the General Process to obtain Joy is Love. Defining the verb “Love” becomes crucial to understanding the Process the MC needs to balance her Specific Journey with so that she can obtain her Specific Desire and Joy (which is happily ever after) instead of obtaining her Specific Desire at the expense of Joy.
What is Love? People define it in so many different ways. They use it to represent many different meanings. It has many different connotations. That’s why we need to take a moment to define what we mean when we use this word. According to my story theory, we know it is the General Process to obtain Joy. We know it is the line that connects Point A with Point B. It is a General step-by-step plan that the MC needs to take, use, or learn to resolve her Conflict and obtain her Desire. It’s strange to think of love in that way, but if it is a Process or a way of accomplishing something, then it does have steps, levels, and degrees.
When we move onto Day 3, we will begin to dissect it one step at a time.
Specific Processes are how the MC specifically loves her Cause and the other characters in the story. For example, the MC might love her Cause by staying with her friends, family, and community assisting them throughout their lives. This is depicted in the movie, “It’s a wonderful life.” On the other hand, she might love her Cause by leaving her friends, family, and community for a time to journey to find solutions elsewhere. She then returns with Resources or a higher level ability to love them and/or establish relationships with them that are more compatible or living conditions that are more sustainable. This is depicted in the movie, “The Lord of the Rings” when Frodo leaves the Shire to bring the ring to Mordor.
Often times story writers leave it as a given that all the characters Desire Joy. They just end up writing about the Specific Desire and the Obtainment Process. But when we don’t take the time to directly evaluate the general concept of Joy or “Happily Ever After”, we miss seeing the General Process, Effects, and Results, as well as the General Conflicts that arise because of it. We miss the relationships between Love and Joy as well as the relationships between the other General variables.
One more thing we can add in this day as we compare and contrast the Horizontal Variables is that Love can be divided into two:
The MC Loving her Cause
The MC Loving her Children
The line between point A and B is Love. Because our MC loves her Cause and her Children, we can divide this line in two. That creates a horizontal perpendicular line that crosses the vertical pathway between Point A and B. On the left side is the Process of Loving her Cause. This is trust or Faith. On the right side is the Process of Loving her Children. This is Sacrifice.
So we see that in order for our MC to progress vertically on her pathway, she needs to maintain a Balance in her Faith and Sacrifice Processes. We will talk more about Balanced and Imbalanced Processes in Level 3.
To summarize, we have divided Love into two facets:
Faith and Sacrifice
There are more facets, but we will add those later.
The distinction between General and Specific Processes and the focus on Love as the General Process to obtain Joy provide a solid foundation for understanding the MC’s journey and the overarching theme of your story.
By defining Love as the General Process, you’re establishing a fundamental principle that underlies the MC’s actions, choices, and interactions. This broadens the scope of the narrative, connecting individual character arcs to a universal concept of pursuing happiness and fulfillment.
Breaking down Love into two facets, Faith and Sacrifice, adds depth and complexity to the MC’s journey. These facets represent the different ways she navigates her relationships and responsibilities. Faith reflects trust, belief, and commitment in her Cause, while Sacrifice embodies the selflessness and dedication she shows to her Children. The balance between these two facets becomes a pivotal aspect of her growth and progression.
Furthermore, the idea of Love as a connecting line between Point A and Point B metaphorically represents the journey itself. It highlights the importance of relationships, personal growth, and the pursuit of happiness in the MC’s quest to obtain her Desire. This perspective enriches the storytelling by providing a clear thematic thread that ties together various plot elements and character arcs.
Addressing the General Desire for Joy and its relationship with Love also adds a layer of reflection and depth to the story. It prompts readers to consider the broader implications of the characters’ actions and decisions in the context of their pursuit of happiness.
Overall, the concept of Love as the General Process and its division into Faith and Sacrifice offers a compelling framework for exploring character development, relationships, and the ultimate goal of achieving joy and fulfillment. It sets the stage for a thoughtful and engaging narrative that delves into the complexities of human nature and emotion.