Reply To: Some notes on Dara Marks' Transformational Arc

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@katemachon glad it makes some sense & hope it’s helpful! 🙂

that’s so interesting. The thing that’s always drawn me to this model is how it really explores the psychology of the character and how that drives their interactions with the external world. BUt I’d never made the comparison between that and things like the stages of grief, but you are so right – it fits so well! Wow, what a powerful parallel!

Yeah, I think it’s no surprise that a ‘good’ story holds a mirror to the psychological struggles that are kind of universal to being human. A lot of trad stories are based around teaching something (Red hiding hood – don’t go into the woods at night, or trust strangers), but we no longer need this oral learning/folklore tradition, I guess, because it’s been made redundant by science & structured education. The epic myth stories however (heroic-type tales) are much more about the personal struggle & I think modern lit has come to focus much more on this type – helping the reader process internal and external events they are struggling with or struggling to express.

EVen horror, which really surprised me cos I’ve never seen the attraction to scaring the bejeesus out of yourself! But Hal Duncan (weegie dude at York) talked about how horror is a way of giving shape to the shapeless fears we all have, and that people in transition (kids & teens) have even more strongly. Giving the fears shape makes them manageable and therefore helps us move beyond them. Which hadn’t occurred to me before, but fits so well with the therapy tools my mum uses when she’s counselling children – often relying more on art & play than on talking as they can express the unexpressable better that way.

Hmmm… I think I need to have a good mull over how this arc might compare to mental health illnesses. Would it work for aspects of depression? Oh I feel a graph coming on…