Get it or keep it as it is?

The Body at the Bus Stop

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Sep 28, 2017
I have a couple of questions about your preference for particular types of story.

Most stories (all?) are either about getting something or keeping something. A detective wants to get the killer. The boy wants to get the girl. The victims of an alien invasion want to keep their way of life. A single mother in 50s Ireland wants to keep her children.

To attain a goal, or to retain a thing. Do you have a preference for one type of story over the other? Is one or the other more powerful?
Personal preference: Attain a goal. Seems more of a proactive, forward motion in life.

I wonder whether 'attaining a goal' makes a more outward, thrilling / gripping story; while 'keeping something' makes a more inward story. I don't know. What do you think?

Is there a third? Are some stories about changing something? Or would that be 'wanting something' - wanting to change.
I feel the fight to defend an existing territory is more primal even than the need to acquire it. Unless acquisition is a matter of survival for the attacker.
Masada. The French Resistance. The fight to save a loved one.

Alexander the Great was a disgusting spoiled brat. The great story there is how his men had eventually had enough of conquest, and just wanted to go home.

Sometimes too, the story is about a need to let go and move on. To relinquish.
At first I wasn't certain everything fell into these two categories but now that I think about it, I think you might be right. But I think there could be a combination of the two as well. Or, that you can divide these into an order/disorder type of category as well.

But I don't really have a preference.
Very interesting thoughts...

How about that old combination: Losing something, then getting it back?

Just came to my mind, because often the initial story trigger is loss: of job, life, loved ones, precioussss ring of invisibility... Then the hero's journey is about getting back whatever was lost, and his or her attempt to restore (keep) the previous, happy state.
How about coming to terms with something -- loss, disappointment, etc -- rather than getting what you've lost or want. Is that a third option? Maybe it still comes under the heading of 'getting it', if 'it' is a kind of peace...
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The Body at the Bus Stop

Hello everybody