Jon Michael Galindo

~ writing, programming, art ~

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25 August 2015


Do all your favorite books share a common kind of story? More likely than not, they do.

They are no less original for it. In reality, only a few storylines define human literature, because all human lives experience them to some degree.

This series, "Storylines", will look to the best sorts of stories to understand their emotions, appeal, and universality.

Hopefully, understanding the brilliance of these foundational storylines will make better writers of us all, bringing into focus the treasures of our own stories.


Popular stories embrace transition. Harry Potter transitions from a cupboard bedroom to a wizarding world, from childhood to adulthood. Luke Skywalker finds himself thrust into the Jedi world with the purchase of two drones. Tony Stark finds his life redefined when extremists capture him in the Middle East. Few stories exist without transition; perhaps none do, and every storyline takes its origin, in some form, from this one.

Anyone can appreciate why. This storyline evokes the thrilling fear of the unknown, but it often integrates the wonder of amazing, new experiences, whether they be a leaping chocolate frog or a flying suit of armor. Of course, new experiences change a person, and these storylines of transition offer a unique, if uncertain, hope: redefinition. The protagonist wonders if, perhaps, submerged in this new world, the problems and mistakes of the past can finally be forgotten or overcome. Through the protagonist, the reader experiences the vicarious hope that they will at last become who they were always meant to be, along with the fear that they may be worse for it by the end.

Writers prize universality, and transition owes its popularity to a universality that surpasses any other. A child changes schools or moves away from home; a married couple begins a new life together; a soldier goes off to war, or returns home to find the world has gone on without him. Transition pervades every life, constantly promising transformation, redefinition, hope. But, transition’s hope is a fragile one, laden with questions. New experiences bring pain and loss. Little is certain, and relationships must often be rebuilt from scratch.

Old perspectives and habits slip away. Who will I become?

The transition storyline answers this question as well as it can; and, chances are, your favorite story depends on transition.

© Jon Michael Galindo 2015