Showing posts with label #amwriting #howtowrite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #amwriting #howtowrite. Show all posts

Monday, July 20

Jung and the Hero's Journey: The Call to Adventure

Hi! Sorry that I haven't posted in a while. Lately I've been making videos about writing, but I've missed posting here. 

Today I would like to talk about the Call to Adventure.

If there is one plot point that is common to all stories it’s the Call to Adventure. Why? Because all stories—at least all narrative stories—are ABOUT something. They are about someone, the hero, overcoming (or attempting to overcome) various increasingly troublesome obstacles in order to achieve a goal. Further, the attainment of this goal would make both the protagonist and his community better.

For example, in the movie Alien Ripley wants to kill the monster in order to save both herself and everyone else -- although by the end “everyone else” amounted to the cat!

The relation between the Inciting Incident and the Call To Adventure

In the last three videos we looked at, first, the hero’s original condition, his status quo as well as the rules society expected the hero to follow. Then something happens, something that significantly and irrevocably changed the hero’s world. Further this change was like the release of an arrow, one heading straight for the protagonist's heart.

I’ve used Star Wars: A New Hope as an example so I thought I would continue with it.

In Star Wars, Darth Vader boards Princess Leia’s diplomatic craft in an attempt to find the plans for the Death Star. This prompts Lea to hide the plans in R2D2’s memory along with a holographic plea for help, a hologram which Luke glimpses. 

This change in Luke’s world -- as well as his glimpse of a mysterious and beautiful Lea -- causes him to follow up with Old Ben, at which point Obi Wan asks Luke to help him bring the plans back to Alderaan.

I hope I've communicated something of the relationship the Call to Adventure has to the other parts of the story.

The Inciting Incident is the anomaly in one’s carefully constructed map of the world -- it is the crouching dragon. The call to adventure, on the other hand, is an explicit offer to the hero to do something about it.

One More Thing: The Cost/Sacrifice

Accepting the Call to Adventure will involve a significant sacrifice on the hero’s part. When Obi Wan asks Luke to help him take the blueprints to Alderaan Luke is both very excited by the prospect and reluctant. Yes, Luke is a skilled pilot and has always wanted to leave the backwater world he grew up on to explore the galaxy but that would mean leaving the only place he had ever known. He didn’t want to leave his friends, his droids, his nice safe life.

The Call to Adventure always demands a sacrifice. In Luke’s case, it would mean leaving everything he knows and loves behind. This is why the hero usually refuses the call.

In my next post I will talk about rejecting the call to adventure and how that usually ends in disaster.

That’s it! Thanks for reading, I'll talk to you later. Good writing!

I've made this into a YouTube video:

#amwriting, #writing, #writingcommunity #writingtips #howtowrite

Wednesday, December 4

Sean Platt's and Johnny B. Truant's new book: Write. Publish. Repeat. The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success

Sean Platt's and Johnny B. Truant's new book: Write. Publish. Repeat. The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success

Yesterday +John Ward--with the blessings of the authors--passed along a copy of Sean Platt's and Johnny B. Truant's new book: Write. Publish. Repeat. The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success (link to the book on Amazon). You may know the authors from their weekly Self Publishing Podcast.

I was frazzled when John talked to me. I felt intimidated and more than a little anxious about my deadlines but ... well, what can I say, I was curious (and, hey, procrastination!), and John's an online friend, so I took a gander and, boy, am I glad!

Write. Publish. Repeat is a blueprint for establishing effective patterns of behavior. For getting us to think like writers and business people. 

Writers--authors--need a strategy for success. Writing--the telling of a story, the creation of a manuscript--is art, but selling your writing, whether this is to a traditional publisher or to the public at large, is a business. They write:
"Don't ask, 'Is Amazon the place to be?' Instead, ask if selling on Amazon fits well with and best serves your strategy of selling as many books as possible to your ideal readers."
Notice the mention of "ideal readers." I love this concept. Here's how the authors explain it:
"Try to imagine your ideal reader--a concept that were shamelessly stealing from Stephen King in On Writing. Theres one person you're writing for, and that person represents your perfect reader. [...] Your ideal reader will help you make the decisions you need to make when writing."
Also, if you've ever gotten a one star review on Amazon, this idea of your ideal reader can help explain that. This school of thought holds that one star reviews are a sign that your book is reaching the wrong audience, not that your book stinks. For instance, many of my science fiction friends would give any romance book a one star review.

Of course there are books which are truly horrid in the sense that they contain bad grammar. And, certainly, there many stories--whether traditionally or indie published--that contain plot holes, flat characters and impossibly purple prose. 

That said, I think usually these kinds of books sink silently without garnering mention. A one star review, especially a scathing one, is evidence that, with your prose, you reached out and touched someone. Just not in a way they found pleasant! But, so what? Your story elicited strong emotion. Put that in the win column and move on.

I want say more--a lot more!--about ideal readers, but the best thing to do is buy the book, Write. Publish. Repeat, and read it for yourself. At the moment it's on sale for $2.99 until December 7th, 2013.

Again, here's a link to the book on Amazon.

Good writing!

Photo credit: "desert highway" by Robert Couse-Baker under a Creative Commons Attribution License.