|Stories - Part Three: Story Themes
Just as humour is based on chaos and disorder in most cases, so is tragedy. Also, what is chaos for one person may be simply disorder for another. It comes down to how one can look at the situation and define it.
There is a difference between chaos and disorder. Disorder is simply a mess that can be cleared up. Chaos requires thinking about. It is where the answer is not obvious, and may well require outside help. It will often be a dilemma that makes the character rise to the occasion or just break down. Quite often a real person involved in dilemmas will act totally out of character. In extreme cases it is not resolvable at all.
Putting a person into an awkward situation will bring out an aspect of their character. It may not be a true aspect as we may act inconsistently in a situation that we don't know how to handle. Here are some examples. Here are some story lines that require a lot of thought to resolve:
How people resolve such conflicts is what makes the story interesting because if they do it in a way that seems plausible then it gives us some insight on how to deal with out own problems.
On the other hand, not being able to resolve problems also makes a good story. The person who becomes a drunk or drug addict because he cannot cope with life. People who turn to crime, or become emotionally ill due to the inability to cope with life make good main characters in stories. The 'Rise and fall' theme is a common one, and again relates to the characters ability to use their own talents, the support of their friends, and the resources available in crisis situations.
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