A connection is everything to the Holistic. When you measure your experience in terms of balance and relationships, the separation felt from being cut off is one of life’s greatest tragedies. It’s almost impossible for a holistic to dwell in total isolation—which explains why there are so few stories about these horrible circumstances.
The current version of Subtext offers close to 450 different unique story structures. Of those, only six feature a Holistic structure where the mind of the story changes while in a state of extreme disconnection. It rarely happens—because the Holistic would never entirely change without the security of knowing it was in tandem with the Universe.
Six stories. Out of 450.
One of those is so obscure no one even talks about it anymore (La Dolce Vita), and another is so strange that it only served to cement one filmmaker firmly in the independent zone (Tod Solodnz and Welcome to the Dollhouse).
Of course a third, the Milagro episode from the sixth season of The X-Files, happens to be one of my favorite stories—but it’s also about the tragedy of being a writer and features John Hawkes—so the show has a couple bonuses working in its favor.
Disconnection is the ultimate tragedy for the Holistic—certainly not a place they want to visit often.
A Linear thinker finds Tragedy in the juxtaposition of two key Storypoints: a Story Outcome of Failure and a Story Judgment of Bad. Hamlet, Othello, Manchester by the Sea, and The Florida Project all portray a Linear mind that resolves to change its approach—but finds Failure and more considerable angst (Bad) in the process.
The Holistic takes the same two Storypoints and builds a sense of disconnection throughout the entire story. That emotional state of being isolated, of seeing the solidity of self separate from the Universe, envelops the mind in tragic desolation. Depression and hopelessness kick in, bringing the frequency of vibration so low, that every choice only draws one further and further away from the desired outcome.
Consider Oliver Stone’s Platoon:
Disconnection isolates your recognition of truth from the outside world while leading you into the uncertainty of rash and impulsive behavior.
Sounds like that depressed state of emotion, right? The Holistic mind can’t make the connections it needs while in that low state of vibration and thus, falls into greater and greater despair.
The Holistic lives for balance. Living in this separated state only draws it further and further away from home, and closer and closer to a Linear/thinker’s experience of life—something that seems dreadfully simplistic and ultimately pointless to the Holistic.
That’s why the Objective Premise Element of this Holistic story falls back on the Linear mind’s preference for Goal and Consequence. When in alignment, or close to it, the Holistic mind vibes with the analog variations of the Overall Story Issue. While in this depressed state of low vibrations, the Holistic turns to the Story Consequence—mimicking the Linear in an attempt to find stable ground.
But it never works. And it never fulfills.
The Holistic can never be sure of linearity and thus, merely finds it a last option of sorts until it can find that connection once again.
Juxtaposing the Objective Premise Element of the Story Consequence with the Subjective Premise Element of the Holistic Main Character’s attempt at equity (Intention) creates a basis for appreciating this depressed state of emotion:
Disconnection isolates your PROVEN from the outside world while leading you into the uncertainty of PRECONSCIOUS.
Proven is the Main Character Intention Element and the Preconscious, or impulsive and rash behavior, is the Story Consequence of Platoon. Taylor proves himself a soldier as he intended, with the unintended consequence of finding out that man’s instinct for war runs counter to his nature.
When you factor in the totality of experience, as a Holistic does, you feel that overwhelming sense of hopelessness in the Premise.
Let’s try another one of those six films, this time The X-Files episode Milagro:
Disconnection isolates your natural talents from the outside world while leading you into the uncertainty of misunderstanding one’s purpose.
If you’re familiar with this episode, you know this Premise absolutely captures its tragic and offbeat essence.
Disconnection isolates your ABILITY from the outside world while leading you into the uncertainty of UNDERSTANDING.
Ability is the Main Character’s Intention and Understanding, or in this case Mis-understanding, is the unfortunate Consequence. Writer Padgett removes himself from the world by engaging fully with his natural talents and ends up leaving the meaning of his act open to misinterpretation.
A complete and utter low state of emotion—especially for a story about a writer trying to capture his heart’s real intention.
With this final Premise structure within the Changed Resolve category, the Holistic samples the loneliness of the Linear mind’s experience. Lonely from the point-of-view of the Holistic, not the Linear—for if you asked the latter, he would most likely tell you he prefers the isolation to the connectedness, as that’s the only way things can indeed get solved.
No approach is better than the other. One is merely more appropriate in different contexts. Nailing down and appreciating that meaning is the job of the Premise—which is why being able to ascertain Problem-Solving Style from this simple sentence becomes so essential to a writer.
Having explored the various meanings present in a story where the mind resolves to move in a different direction, we now turn our attention to narratives where the mind stays the course and ends up changing the world around her.