My honey-babe found this interview with Don Miller on the Belmont Foundation website, and it says so well everything I love about the uniqueness of people's stories and the importance of knowing the stories we live in. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
An Interview about Don's New Book:
Story: Why Some People's Lives Make Sense and Others Don't
What is the new book about?
Essentially, the premise is that the same principles screenwriters and novelist use to tell a good story also work in our lives. For instance, in story a character should have an ambition, or the story drags. And conflict is to be expected, but the way the character deals with the conflict determines the quality of the overall story. So screenwriters know this stuff, and they apply these principles so that people don't come to the end of their movie feeling let down. I think a lot of people come ot the end of their lives, or for that matter their day or week feeling let down as well. But living a good story is the antidote.
How did the book come about?
A couple of filmakers contacted me about making a movie out of Blue Like Jazz. I had turned down other opportunities, but these guys seemed to have some good ideas so I said yes. And in the course of writing the screenplay with them, I learned about these principles. The interesting thing about this experience was that we were shaping up a character who had my name and my overall story, we were just making his life a little less boring. Why not do the same with my own life.
What can a person do to live a good story?
The overall principles are pretty simple. But they can be expanded upon to make a story better and better. Essentially, though, a good story has a character with an ambition that is willing to overcome conflict to achieve a resolution. That's it. If we do that, then we've lived a good story and probably will feel more contented at the end of the day, or the end of the story how ever long it takes. But inside those basic elements there are a miriad of other ideas that can make a story better and better. The character of the character matters, for instance, and the nature of the ambition. The characters mentality about conflict matters and the way the story is resolved also matters. But the point is a person can feel just as fulfilled with a real-life experience as they might at the end of a movie that has touched them.
When will the book be out?
I am wrapping up the manuscript now and the publisher is thinking of a fall 2008 release. It will be my first hardback book so we are all pretty excited.