Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Epic Battles & Quiet Victories

I know, I know. You've already heard everything there is to hear about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. All the creepy memes, spoiler alerts, wild speculations, and Facebook friends who threatened to unfriend you if you offered any of the aforementioned items on the list. *insert eye roll*
I forgot to mention bad jokes. Sorry.
Well, I only have one thing to add. It was amazing! Don't worry, I won't bend your ear with dorky Star Wars-isms. I just want to talk about why stories like Star Wars are so impressive. 
He has not aged well. Seriously.
It isn't all the schmancy pyrotechnics or highly paid actors. (Really, $34.7 million, Mr. Ford?). And it certainly isn't the cool locations or costumes (though they are really cool). Ultimately, our hearts are won by epic battles. Good vs. Evil. Dark vs. Light. All played out in vivid detail. We cheer when the protagonist overcomes impossible odds to win the war. Like when Luke wins over Vader. Or Harry Potter conquers Lord Voldemort. 

We need those phenomenal victories to lend us courage and strength in the game of life. After all, life isn't nearly as interesting as what is played out on the big screen, the odds are rarely in our favor, and there's no guarantee of victory. Stories of bravery and brilliance give us the fortitude to keep on going anyway.
Yeah. That happened.
But what about the quiet victories? When Elizabeth wins Darcy or Jane Eyre returns to Mr. Rochester? Quiet victories are every bit as satisfying to the heart and are every bit as important as epic adventures.
Oh yeah, that's satisfying.
As an awkward young woman, I identified with Anne Shirley of L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables. Anne's penchant for ridiculous situations and inevitably making matters worse resonated with me. In those days, I was the type of girl who did everything backwards. Through Anne, I learned the importance of apologizing correctly (rather than dramatically), that the best love is the one you work for instead of the one that falls into your lap, and that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it. Those are lessons that I will always carry with me. 
I can relate, sister.
Even though we know that Good doesn't always win and Happily Ever After only occurs in fairytales, Epic Battles and Quiet Victories sell books and movies because they inspire us. The best ones throw a load of obstacles in the hero's way before the end, demanding ingenuity, bravery, and inner strength to come out on top. Sound like life? It does to me. In the end, these tales summon the superhero within and whisper of a better tomorrow.
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Now you've heard my thoughts on the subject. I'd love to get your take on Epic Battles and Quiet Victories. Do you find one more appealing than the other? And what are your favorites? Leave me a comment! And thanks for dropping by!


  1. Mm. I don't think I could choose. Eowyn, Anne Shirley, and Jo March are all favorite heroines, masters of the epic battles and quiet victories respectively.

    1. Ooh! I love all of those! Our classics mold who we become as writers and people, don't you think?

  2. I loved Anne of Green Gables as a kid. Perhaps I should reread the series.

    As for Epic Battles vs Quiet Victories, in typical Heather fashion, I prefer BOTH at the same time! That is to say, an epic battle can feel hollow if a quiet victory isn't simultaneously taking place on an emotional level. :)

    1. So true! Winning epic battles is great but there must also be an emotional journey that takes place. I tend to write quieter stories, so I forget that. The emotional journal is the story for me. Thanks, Heather!

      And hey, the last time I checked, there was a super low-priced kindle version of all the Anne books on Amazon. Like 99 cents for the whole thing. And now they live on my iPad. :)