The Exodus

So yesterday we talked about how your story begins, and of course I'm going to be offensive and draw biblical parallels because fuck you.

You started out with want, but you didn't know about it because your bucket was empty. Now you transition through filling your bucket and you go "hey, I need to do something about this thing that is wanting in my life."

And this is where you start the beetle-brain thing and you gather up your little ball of dung and start rolling it.

This is where you start to encounter the first real obstacles in your efforts, and there are some important elements to your story that go here, too.

  • People told you to just accept things as they were, but you refused
  • You tried a lot of things and you worked really really hard
  • But you just couldn't seem to get anywhere

One of the things that trips people up a lot in this part of the story is they don't like to compress it. They want this part of the story to be very, very long just like their experience was.

The problem with this is that nobody gives a shit. Honestly, nobody gives a flying fuck at a rolling donut about the details of your struggle. When the Jews wandered forty years in the desert, it was not handled like the Creation. It did not go "On the first day the Jews did wander in the fucking desert and it was hot and there was sand and shit. And on the second day the Jews did wander some more in the fucking desert and it was still hot and there was more sand and shit. And on the third day..."

Sweet mother of crap in a hat, fuck this.

No, the Exodus is handled more like this: "Some shit happened. And then the Jews did wander in the fucking desert for a really Goddamn long time until more shit happened. And then they did wander some more in the fucking desert until shit happened again."

Remember, part of your core idea is that you tried a lot of things. So a lot of shit has to happen. And if a lot of shit is going to happen, you have got to get the parts where shit is not happening out of the fucking way.

The key to any decent story is pacing, which is to say that you have to have a bunch of shit happening, but in between shit happening you have to stop long enough to say "okay, so that shit happened." And then you relax a little, and talk about how shit didn't happen for a while, but wouldn't you fucking know more shit was totally about to happen.

Now let's drag a couple more things into this. The reason you're not getting anywhere with all this shit happening is twofold.

  • You don't have your skills or abilities or powers yet
  • You are also kind of an arsehole, remember?

And on top of this, at every failure, every time shit happens and it isn't working out, bring up the peanut gallery. All the people who said "hey, dumbass, that's never going to work!" and then they laughed and pissed on your shoes and ran away.

Which is sort of okay, because you are still a nobody and don't have your skills and abilities and powers yet and plus you are kind of an arsehole.

"They laughed when I sat down at the piano - but when I started to play!"

This is the dash in that famous headline. Between the laughing and the playing was a lot of work. It was a recognition that you had a need, and you were frantically casting about to fill that need. But you're an idiot and an arsehole and you don't have your powers yet,

And what you have developed on the way here is not just the need, but the belief that your want can be satisfied. You know it can happen - you just don't know how.

That's really the barrier you've conquered in filling your bucket. You have seen tales in ye olde archives, where other people with the same shitty life you have were said to have achieved great things. And now, you Believe you can do this too. So you're making those first early efforts to do it.

But you're not getting much of anywhere yet. You need to make another transition from knowing you have a need to developing a desire. And we'll talk about that tomorrow... which you knew was coming, right? Of course you did.