Thursday, November 12, 2009

Butterfly Effect (no, not the movie)

Fall term in school is just about over. I have read through many a textbook these last few weeks and am nearing the end. Whoop! (If any of my professors are reading this, I really do enjoy my classes. Love them).

So with that winding down, I am reading the last chapter of my text for my developmental class. This last chapter deals with outcomes of life and….(da da da – scary voice)…The Butterfly Effect. The Butterfly Effect is how environment and situations can change the outcome of one’s life and make a ripple effect (or something like that).

Have you ever been in the right place at the right time? Or meet someone wonderful because you were someplace you didn’t expect to be? Well, that’s kind of what The Butterfly Effect is. A brief experience that alters one’s life…forever (again, scary voice – or if it is a good thing, happy voice and a dance twirl to boot).

As I was reading this I couldn’t help think of movies (The Butterfly Effect – which no, I haven’t seen, Serendipity, Notting Hill – love that one! Or how about The Sixth Sense? scary).

Each one of these has an element of the butterfly effect (I’m just assuming The Butterfly Effect has a butterfly effect in it *fingers crossed*).

Think about it, what would happen if Julie Roberts hadn’t bumped into Hugh Grant and get orange juice spilled all over her? It would have been a short movie, I’ll tell you that for sure.

The effect becomes the story, making a rippling effect through the plot line; something that will keep the reader (or watcher) interested in the story. How will the story end? What happens if they race to the top of the mall and meet each other? What if they don’t?

I had to think. Does my story have these kind of effects. And guess what? It did. And it was one of my fav. parts!

Being that I am so tried, I could totally be wrong about the Butterfly Effect (and not do so well on my quiz). Actually I think I'm thinking of serendipity, I'd better go study some more.

So what do you think about Butterfly Effect?


L.T. Elliot said...

You're not missing anything with the movie. Really.
That's a great idea when considering plot--butterfly effect. An event that changes your character forever. Smart thinking.

Linda Garner said...

The Butterfly Effect, is that like serendipity, a happy accident. I think life is full of happy accidents that change us forever. I love the idea. LG

Linda Garner said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Linda Garner said...

OOps. I stuttered. I don't know how that happened. It must be really, really important.

Anonymous said...

Every time I think of the Butterfly Effect, I think of shows like Lost or Doctor Who, and time travel. If you step on a butterfly in the past, the whole future could change...

So the question you could also ask about your character(s) would be, what event in their past brought them to where they are today? And what butterflies in the past could have been stepped on to make the story entirely different? And is that story also worth telling?

Carolyn V. said...

L.T. Thanks =)

Linda, I love happy accidents. They are awesome.

Anna, I think you are right. Why didn't my text book just say that? Who knows? =)

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Thanks anon! =)

Sara said...

I wrote a book about this very thing quite a few years ago - it's all about how the small choices we make can completely change our lives. The question is, if we knew how those small changes would shape our futures, would we be paralyzed by that knowledge? It's better not knowing, and just doing the best we can. Maybe someday I will revise it and put it "out there". lol! ;-) (it was adult fiction, not my normal writing venture...) But seriously, the tiniest things can completely change lives if you think about it. Kinda crazy!

Lisa and Laura said...

Ha! I'll admit to both watching and sort of enjoying the Butterfly Effect. Sad, but true.

And I love how both books and the real world really work this way. It's amazing how big of an impact the little, seemingly insignificant things really have on the direction of our lives. Sometimes the sheer randomness of it all makes me smile.

Suzette Saxton said...

I'm a full believer in the butterfly effect. My life has changed exponentially, all because I joined and then went on to meet writers in their forum. I now have the best group of friends imaginable, and have even found an agent. Lucky, lucky me!

Your blog is so warm and friendly, I love it here.

Suzette Saxton said...

The Butterfly Effect movie is INTENSE! I will admit that I loved it and have watched it more than once and will likely watch it again.