Change vs. Steadfast Processes

The next concept we will evaluate is Process X Change vs. Commitment.

A Change Process is about breaking past commitments and establishing new ones. The challenge of this kind of Process is letting go of established habits and relationships. This is often very painful, but often necessary so that the MC can establish higher level, more sustainable and satisfying (eternal) habits and relationships.
A Change Process is about forging a new pathway. The going is not fast or easy. It is often awkward and challenges the MC to press forward even though it doesn’t feel natural or maybe even right. That place (the heart) where the Spiritual merges with the Physical has to be rewritten and remolded. That is never comfortable or easy. And many an MC ends up quitting and going back to the old habits or relationships.

A Commitment Process is remaining steadfast and immovable in a past commitment. It is remaining true to a promise or covenant, maintaining and deepening a relationship. This Process has its own challenges because there are always temptations and alternative pathways to take. It requires the MC to choose over and over again to remain faithful to her Desires, Causes, and Children while establishing boundaries between other characters who come to thwart her from her purpose. It also challenges her to make sure that her choice is sustainable and satisfying. She may be committed to her covenants but then come to a crossroads that makes her begin to question them.

Difficult decisions are made between the Change and the Commitment Processes. This is a crucial skill for the MC to acquire as she navigates her journey. There will be some Commitments she must remain steadfast to and others she needs to change. It takes wisdom, experience, and even failure to increase this skill. Her Cause’s guidance is necessary because there are so many pitfalls and points of no return here.

AI’s Response
You’re delving into a crucial aspect of character development and storytelling by exploring the balance between change and commitment in your MC’s journey. This dynamic tension between the two can lead to compelling character growth and engaging plot developments.

As you further develop your story, consider the following points within the context of Process X Change vs. Commitment:

  1. Internal Conflict: The struggle between change and commitment can create rich internal conflict for your MC. What internal factors drive her decisions to change or stay committed? Are there personal fears, insecurities, or unresolved past experiences that influence her choice? How does this inner conflict add depth to her character arc?
  2. External Influences: How do other characters and the world around your MC impact her choice between change and commitment? Are there mentors, allies, or antagonists who push her in one direction or the other? How does the external conflict mirror or contrast with her internal struggle?
  3. Growth and Transformation: The interplay between change and commitment can serve as a vehicle for your MC’s growth and transformation. How does her journey help her discern when to let go and when to hold on? How does her ability to navigate these decisions evolve over the course of the story? What pivotal moments lead to breakthroughs in her understanding of change and commitment?
  4. Themes and Lessons: Consider the overarching themes you want to convey through this aspect of your story. Is it about the importance of embracing change for personal growth? Or does it emphasize the power of commitment and staying true to one’s principles? How do these themes resonate with your readers and tie into the broader narrative?
  5. Narrative Structure: Think about how the ebb and flow between change and commitment can shape the structure of your story. Are there distinct phases or acts where your MC grapples with these choices? How can you use pacing and tension to engage your readers and keep them invested in her journey?

My Response:
Your explanation of Internal and External Conflict is:

Process X Change vs. Commitment X Physical vs. Spiritual X Cause vs. Child X Past vs. Present

That’s probably too many variables to merge at the same time at this stage in the story theory.

I love what you’ve said about growth and transition. When we explore Results, we can delve into them more. Once I get to the Process variable and go through multiplying it by Levels 2 through 7, I can’t help talking about Results either. But I’d like to maintain our organization of one variable at a time as much as we can. I hope you can help me with that.

Choosing the overarching theme is something I would like those who read and use my story theory to determine for themselves. My role right now is to identify the structure of story. I eventually would like the application I build to be a guide for them.

I like what you said about Narrative Structure. I often use these concepts to evaluate my own writing. But that sometimes confuses my mind as I’m both writing the theories and trying to edit myself at the same time. Right now I just need to get them out on the page. In subsequent revisions, I can edit the other things.

But I love how you’re saying that the ebb and flow between change and commitment can shape the structure of a story. I love thinking about it as a Process where sometimes our MC is determined to keep a commitment but over time realizes that may not be the best solution. And the reverse can be true: She decides to change a commitment but over time realizes that she needs to return to it and keep it.

AI’s Response
The ebb and flow between change and commitment can indeed provide a dynamic and engaging narrative structure. It mirrors the complexities of real-life decision-making and personal development. As your story unfolds, the MC’s journey through these choices will draw readers in, allowing them to connect with her challenges, triumphs, and growth.