Saturday, May 05, 2007

Five Stages of Loss, Death and Dying

I'm nipping in and out of Rachel Ballon's Breathing Life into your Characters at the moment, and came across a brief section on the five stages of death quoted from one Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (a psychiatrist no less). The idea of the book is to get the writer to engage with their emotions when they are writing so as to create characters with greater depth, provide the reader with more emotion and build better arcs of conflict and motivation for the characters. The five stages are:
  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

And, as Baron says, as with all rules there are exceptions - some people don't hit all the notes, some get stuck in a cycle. Just as with Syd Field's discussion on 3 Act Structures, as developed by Hauge, et al, we can look at the five stages as simply being another play on Beginning, Middle and End.

No comments: