Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Make her squirm. Lie awake at night worrying what will happen to her. Don't make it easy for her to escape. In fact, make it impossible.
At the beginning of her story, bring in the Herald who calls her into adventure. She will refuse. It's human nature to resist change. But something will draw her out. Some small thing will get her attention in a way she cannot resist and will take her to a place where she cannot return to her ordinary existence. Once she has crossed the point of no return, she's fully engaged in that special world which is her own unique story.
You must follow her, gently prod her and see where she goes. If she goes out on a limb, stay with her. Feel the limb break. Feel yourself falling.
Dive into the depths of her world, feel your lungs bursting for air. Feel yourself die. And then feel the exhileration of being released back into the world, popping up and gulping air back into your body.
A story worth telling takes the reader on a journey. But it's the writer's journey first and it's one that requires courage and stamina. Fortunately there are guides and charts and maps to assist us. Without a guide, the writer is in danger of wandering off into the forest of words, never finding their way out.
The Writer's Journey, by Christopher Vogler, is the classic roadmap for storytelling. This is the book that makes Joseph Campbell's Hero of a Thousand Faces user friendly. From his lifelong study of stories from all ages and cultures, Campbell discovered the structural elements that made them classics, and the infinite variation of archetypes who populate them and made their journeys unforgettable. Vogler's book makes Campbell's research accessible in a way that is so entertaining you might forget how much you're learning.
Posted by Rahma Krambo at 6:36 PM