DL Fowler's Blog

A Story’s Physical Journey

Posted in Plots, Psychology, Ripples, Stanley Williams, The Moral Premise, Transform Your Fiction, Writing by DLFowler on September 28, 2017

A compelling synopsis of a story’s physical journey can help sell books, but it can do much more.

Physical goals and obstacles in the Lead character’s way are symbols for psychological goals and emotional blockage. As a result, physical journeys are vehicles that transport characters through their psychological journeys.[1] Physical and psychological journeys work in concert to transform Leads from who they journeyare to who they are meant to become. Struggling to overcome obstacles throughout the story enables characters to resolve moral dilemmas.

When a story’s synopsis fuses the moral dilemma with the principal character’s physical goal, you’ve created two things. The first is a promise to readers that your story will pull on their heartstrings. The second is a road map to keep your writing focused on the story’s heart. The following description helped me keep Ripples psychological journey in view as I imagined my story’s physical journey.

Sixteen-year old Amy escapes her captors in the rugged Sierra foothills, only to discover freedom’s steep price. Billionaire Jacob Chandler turns fugitive in the same hostile chaparral, risking his life to keep from losing everything. But the wilderness isn’t their only enemy. Amy’s kidnappers want her back and won’t let anyone stand in their way.

Amy is away from home against her will, but is freedom’s price too high? Is she better off suffering cruelty from her captors? Jacob faces a dilemma as well. Must he risk his freedom to redeem his life? Will his life become a firestorm if he shows kindness by helping Amy?

Have your ever written or read a synopsis that touched you emotionally? Have you ever read or written a story that went off track and never seemed to find its way back? I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment.

[1] Williams. The Moral Premise, 67. Dr. Williams explains the virtuous goal has two dimensions: psychological and physical. The Lead must pursue a growth in virtue (the story’s psychological journey) as she strives to reach a physical destination (the story’s physical journey). Her physical journey is a metaphor for the psychological journey.

2 Responses

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  1. […] to the success of a story than the Moment of Grace. During the Moment of Grace, the Lead’s physical and psychological journeys merge, lifting the sagging […]


  2. The Whole Story | DL Fowler's Blog said, on October 26, 2017 at 3:22 PM

    […] A Story’s Physical Journey […]


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