This entry is part 6 of 13 in the series Story Genius Method - Pillar

Recap: We’re looking at Lisa Cron’s book STORY GENIUS, taking notes, and applying it to the realm of short stories.

Last post we talked about why Roti wants what he does. This week we’re going to dive into what he believes that is actively keeping him from getting it. We’re going to call this a misbelief.

Lisa encourages us that this should be something true to our character; Maybe he was lied to, maybe his siblings are just unkind, or maybe he’s just come to the wrong conclusion about a past event. Whatever it is, from Roti’s perspective, it’s gospel.

The (digging) process

  1. Start with what Roti wants (significance)
  2. Turn it into a lie (Roti believes he isn’t significant)
  3. What does it mean if that’s true? (His ideas don’t matter)
  4. What does that say about him? (If his ideas don’t matter then he’s not valuable)
  5. What happens then? (If he’s not valuable then he’s insignificant)
  6. So what then does Roti believe about significance? (That it’s tied to value)
  7. So what’s valuable? (Good ideas)
  8. Conclusion: Value comes from good ideas

And if Roti believes this to be true of others, then he believes it for himself as well ergo where I landed:

Roti believes that he is only as good as his ideas.

Boom. This leaves him uncertain as to whether or not he is capable of producing a good one, hopeful that he will eventually, and ripe for being shown how wrong it is by the story. If this is true then his hypothetical glory moment at the speaking rock would reveal him to be valuable (and therefore, significant), and his worst nightmare is being publicly humiliated for a bad idea.

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