Friday, September 21, 2007

The Cycle of History and Storytelling

Yesterday, one of my horse breeder associates sent me a forward that made me think. It was slanted toward a particular presidential candidate (who I happen to support, but I won't get into politics on this blog--at least other than fictional politics LOL).

Comparisons aside, I felt this portion of the script was worth bringing forward:

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
3. from courage to liberty;
4. from liberty to abundance;
5. from abundance to complacency;
6. from complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage"

This got me thinking about parallels in my soon-to-be-marketed Science Fiction Romance entitled P2PC. (If you follow this blog, you know the name of this blog came from the pages of this WIP. *wink*)

The back story (and future story, since it will be a series) follows this pattern. Two centuries before the story opens, the people were at 8. The plot of the first in the series covers 2 and 3, and future books will move through phases 4, 5, 6, 7, and back to 8. History does repeat itself. It's followed this same cycle in the past, and it will follow it 1,500 years in the future--at least in my fictional universe.

So how do I, as a writer, make my story fresh and interesting? By bringing in a character who arrives on the scene out of desperation, with no idea who or what he has stumbled upon--and then having him discover he's a major player in the conflict.

Steven King has a great quote about effective storytelling:
"I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose."

"Monsters" can manifest themselves in many forms. :)

Any thoughts?


  1. That was so interesting Laurie! Thanks for that. It does fit so well. Applies to relationships too I reckon
    1. You can't bear to let the other out of your side and then learn to trust
    2. You trust them enough to let them go out to a strip club
    3. Now its an open relationship. They can see who they want but know they'll come back to you.
    4. So many Women (or men), not enough time
    5. Well, why bother with makeup, he won't leave. Why bother with flowers, I'm in her bed anyway
    6.I can't be bothered to go out, there's something good on TV. Oh football's on, get your own cup of tea
    7. But I need you. No one else understands me. I need you, No one else will do my laundry.
    Hee hee

  2. LOL Flick. Interesting parallels you draw there.

    Yes, not only relationships, but life in general may follow a similar pattern if you think about it.


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