Zen of Writing: Being

“Being” is an elusive concept, subject to inconsistent common usage. For purposes of story, Being is meant to describe the condition of existing in a certain manner.

Whomever or whatever is “Being” a particular way is not truly of that nature; to do so would require Becoming. In fact, being may be put on as a deception or because it is necessary to adopt a role in order to achieve one’s purpose. However, as long as there is nothing more or less to the functioning of a person or thing, it can be said to “be” what it appears to be.

Stories often focus on someone who wants to “be” something, without actually “Becoming”. The important difference is that “Being” requires that all the elements of what one wants to be are present in oneself. “Becoming” requires that there are no elements in oneself that are not in what one wants to become.

Excerpted from The Zen of Story Structure

DEFINITION: Being: temporarily adopting a lifestyle.

SYNONYMS: pretending, appearing, acting like, seeming as, fulfilling a role.

DYNAMIC PAIR: Becoming, transforming one’s nature.

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