Monday, August 30, 2010


A single story can be hopeful or not-so-hopeful. It all depends on where you put the emphasis.

Part 1
Create hope in a story you tell by making sure you know in your heart where the hope is. Feel it first.

Part 2
Create hope by playing with time. Make the time span as long as it needs to be.

Part 3
Create hope in one context by telling a hopeful story about another.

Part 4
Create hope in stories by talking about hope.

part 5
Create hope in stories by including symbols.

6) Create hope with heroes.

Rhonda Leigh Jones: The success of the Harry Potter series can be attributed to its masterful use of the hero's quest, which readers like because it gives them hope.

A hero—artfully placed in a story--is a human symbol of hope. As Jones observes, the hero’s role is implicitly hopeful. A hero does remarkable things. A hero transforms, overcomes, exceeds, prevails through adversity. A story with a solid hero captures us. It inspires us. It compels us to believe in the power of humanity—to entertain the notion that any person might, given a chance, be a hero.
A hero’s hope-enhancing power is considerable, and it can be increased by explicitly linking that hero with hope. A simple Internet search linking hope and heroes will show you that writers are highlighting the connection in a variety of genres. One good example appears in an article about cyclist Lance Armstrong. The Hero Of Hope where Dan Wetzel writes: “”But battling the Alps, the time trials and the snippy French press was really nothing compared to being the hero of hope to all of those chemotherapy patients.
Lance Armstrong is the most important athlete of our generation for all of that.
"I want you all to know that I intend to beat this disease," said Armstrong on Oct. 8, 1996, back when such talk was not likely to be taken seriously.
Armstrong was the ninth-ranked cyclist in the world at the time, a fringe player in a fringe sport in America, all of which makes his impact today seem
so unlikely. He had testicular cancer, which had spread to his abdomen and lungs, which meant his boasts of beating it seemed based primarily on false
"Further," he said, "I intend to ride again as a professional cyclist."
What has transpired since is so incredible, so moving, so miraculous, so important that it doesn't seem possible.
Armstrong didn't just beat cancer, he showed thousands of others how to do it, raised millions to ensure more would, and changed the entire way the disease
is viewed.
Ten years ago, who didn't know someone lost to cancer? Today who doesn't know someone who has beaten it? Today when the diagnosis comes in, as gut-wrenching
and horrifically frightening as it is, it isn't what it once was. It isn't a death sentence. Today, there is a chance.
Armstrong, with his Texas tenacity, with his American drive, hammered the disease and then returned to cycling and crushed all comers, winning the Tour
just 18 months after a press conference many people figured would signal his death.””
We see in this excerpt that Wetzel is writing not only about Armstrong, but also about hope, the transition from false hope to hope itself, from the impossible to the possible. Wetzel has formed a story about a hero and made it a story about hope.

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