Worlds of imagination by Sara B. Gauldin

Our Fascination with Drama: A Human take on the Plot Arc in Books


I recently found myself in a position that happens to almost everyone (unless you are an extreme hermit or live on a desert island); I had an argument. The conflict was work related and not Earth shattering or life altering. Without disclosing personal or professional details I will say that the entire experience was a perfect plot arc. First came the introduction of established characters (me and my coworkers), establishment of motives for all involved (student achievement, professional growth, team work, defending the underdog from the perceived threat, defending effectiveness etc.). The whole situation was a recipe for conflict. Enter part two, the understated “middle” of the story line. This part is the meat in the sandwich of any traditional plot. The ground work was laid, now watch the sparks fly. It would have been an epic scene to write, read, or view performed.



It was drama in pure unadulterated form. And it was awful. Completely and utterly gut wrenchingly awful.



Let me skip ahead to the last part of the scene. The argument ends and nobody goes home thinking what an awesome dramatic moment that was. Nobody feels they have witnesses something they wanted to see. Nobody gets an Oscar or emerges victorious. All parties retreat, cool off and dread the next day; perhaps none more that our principal who has been given the peripheral roll of referee.


This brings me to my next point; drama. Love it, hate it, it is a part of the human existence. Personally I claim that I am not a fan. I even have banned its practice in my classroom and home. Yet it still exists. It creeps in along the edges of daily life like a stealthy warrior, ready to cause havoc on its unsuspecting host.


But it is realistic for me or anyone else to say that they hate drama? Do we really? Put the same argument on any sitcom and it would make for character deepening and intriguing viewing. Read any good story line and you will find at least on major “problem” that seeks to foil the characters. And we read in awe. We watch incessantly.

Could it be that we don’t hate the drama as much as we feel helpless to resolve it. Life seldom grants us a tidy conclusion to our real world struggles. Life is more of a saga of various challenges that assail us all daily. (I shudder as I recall my recent drama).

sorryPerhaps watching fictitious drama unfold in the pages of our favorite book is reassuring to us all. We want to know that we are not alone or unique in our challenges. We want to know that there are bigger concerns that make ours seem small. (After all, Voldemort is not trying to kill me and I do not have to participate in the Hunger Games!) We want to see the neat conclusion at the end. We want all that angst that kept us turning the pages resolved so we can have a glimmer of hope that just maybe our troubles can be resolved in a neat package with the stroke of a pen or the right words.


So I will continue to write my drama’s in books. I can dream up a million ways to solve them on paper.

As for my real life dramatic interlude, it ended quietly and humbly for all parties involved, as it should have. It would have made for better reading if we had be swept away by a tornado or kidnapped by terrorists or any number of intriguing outcomes, but I will keep those dramas on the page and stay thankful that for this time I was able to find a resolution to my real life plot.


Don’t miss Sara B. Gauldin’s amazing books! Click HERE!

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This entry was posted on December 29, 2014 by in What Crosses My Mind and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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