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Avengers and Flutters of Butterflies

Isn’t it a wonderful thing when you can trust someone to tell a good story? I tell you, there’s nothing like trusting your entertainment to someone. You wouldn’t think it would be such a big deal – but it really is!

We are only human, and we get upset when a story is told badly. When it’s full of clichés, or the action doesn’t flow properly, or the characters are impossible to connect with… So many ways a tale can be mishandled! But you get a deep, excited feeling in your stomach, a flutter of butterflies, when you know a new story is coming out by someone you trust. It makes you feel alive, and like there’s something to add just a little bit more brightness to your regular day. Praise God for good storytelling!

This was brought home to me painfully when the new Star Wars films came out. So much of my being is wrapped up in the story of Luke, Han, Leah, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and all that wonderful world of characters, and the Force that inspires them. But then the films were such a disappointment. I don’t want to go into that in detail here, although I might sometime, but it was the first time that I realized just how deeply a story could impact me. Because when you open yourself up enough to be impacted for good, then you’re opening yourself up to be impacted for the worse too.

And now the trailer for Avengers Endgame is out! And I am squirming in my seat! Those are storytellers that I trust – they have done such wonderful things with their world up until now – and it has been truly impressive! The large cast of characters, the emotions that affect all of them, the character building, the world building, the consistency and variation across films that matches so well together! I could get nitpicky, and point out a few things here and there that they didn’t do well, but when it comes down to it, they are masters. They are bards. They are Homerically Epic.

And, which is unusual for me, I don’t have a way that I want the movie to come out – I am content to merely let them tell the story, and lose myself in however they decide to handle it. Because I know it’s going to be amazing! 😃

The trailer already is! 🎥

Who are your favorite story tellers? Who do you trust when it comes to that flutter of butterflies in your stomach? Are you excited for Avengers 4???

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Coming of Age (or Internal) Genres

So, before I continue on the path of laying out each individual genre in this continuing series, I think it’s good to take a moment to talk about the category ‘Coming of Age’. This is the Internal Genre, where the story is driven by the hero’s personal struggles, rather than a villain they must defeat.

By ‘Coming of Age’, I do not mean a teen romance. I’m willing to bet that, when you hear that term, you think of a young adult category.

I won’t argue that these types of stories certainly seem to appeal in a deep way to young people who are only just beginning to understand life; however, a ‘coming of age’ can imply far more. Every person is learning and re-learning life all the time, and stages of maturity and realization happen for us sometimes at 12, sometimes at 20, and sometimes at 75, so I think it is fair to say that a ‘Coming of Age’ story can happen for anyone, and appeal to anyone.

There are 4 ‘coming of age’ categories that my brother and I have been able to identify so far. I’m not sure yet if there are more than these, and would love to hear what you think!

They are:

  1. Death
  2. Self-Delusion
  3. Romance
  4. Responsibility

I’ll use death to explain this a bit more. Sometimes there is a story like My Girl, where the main character has to deal with death at a young age, and matures through that process. But there are also stories like A Christmas Carol, in which an old man has to come to scrooge-and-tim.jpgterms with his own mortality, and becomes a more whole person because of it. Both of these, in a sense, are ‘Coming of Age’ stories. They deal with someone who begins the story incomplete, or possibly broken, in some way. And when the story is over, they have grown, learned, and moved on, embracing the reality that they had before ignored or been ignorant of.

So the criteria for a ‘Coming of Age’ story is:

  • There is a reality, or truth, of life – such as death or love.
  • Main character denies or does not know about this reality.
  • The reality confronts the character with unavoidable force.
  • They run from it, rebel against it, do not want to accept it.
  • Finally, they must accept it, although they have to die (in a metaphorical sense) to a part of themselves to do so.
  • They are a more complete person after accepting it.

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So there you have it! I’ll be diving into each section in detail soon, so keep an eye out.

Are there any ‘coming of age’ stories you can think of, or any other genres that fall under this heading? Are there any stories you would like me to explore to see what genre they fall under?