Thoughts on the adventure

thoughtsThis year I promised myself to go beyond my comfort zone, or more importantly, what I considered ‘safe’, to embrace the adventure and see where it took me.

It didn’t work out as well as I hoped.

Taking chances includes disasters. You don’t read about the people who didn’t make it. Failing doesn’t make good storytelling, but it is part of the path towards success, to find out what works and what doesn’t work. (And I excel at finding out what doesn’t work).

Get help. Help takes on many forms, not just the help of other people who know what they are doing, but also the encounters with choices, or finding meaning in anything from a quote to a story. Ask for advice, weed out the unhelpful criticism, and move forward.

Rise from the ashes. This is difficult if you don’t have wings, so even if you have to stagger and stumble out of the ashes, that works too. The important thing is that you keep trying, changing your plans if necessary, in order to keep moving forward.

I wish Life was more like a story, where you encounter the Hero’s Journey, where stumbling is only a setback, where you find a the Guide to help you, and where you may not triumph but you do change for the better.

What are your thoughts on this topic; post in comments.

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The Hero’s Journey

Our last writer’s group covered the topic of Heroes and Villains. I discussed Villains before with Writing a Good Bad Guy, but our discussion also explore the Hero’s Journey.

The Hero’s Journey is a monomyth told and retold over the centuries in good story telling. This concept was first introduced by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Not to say he discovered it, but he explained it as a narrative archetype.

This video provides an entertaining explanation of the Hero’s Journey: (click image)


I certainly considered my own retelling of the hero’s journey through my stories, to see if it is there. It was. As writers, we personalize the journey with our character, settings, and conflicts, thus, making a unique story. The storyline is not unique, but our story should reflect similar elements, while making it our own.

If you think about it, we, as would-be authors, also have our Hero’s journey: (I’ve summarized the journey)

  • Writer has call to adventure- hoping to write and publish someday
  • Refusal to the call- fears tends to get in the way, overthinking, and worry you’re not good enough prevents the stories to be written, let alone shared.
  • Supernatural aid- The Creative Muse inspires and injects stories, nagging characters continue to haunt the writer.
  • Crossing the threshold- The writer begins to write the story, despite fears and doubts, and gains super powers of storytelling.
  • Belly of the whale- The writer faces the editing process, overwhelmed with more doubts in writing ability or if the story is good enough to publish.
  • Road of trials- Editing, revision, editing, naysayers, sharing and facing criticism, and more editing.
  • Meeting the goddess- The muse or writer friend assures the writer it can be done, to accept mistakes, embrace them in fact, so they can work through the process to make it better.
  • Refusal of the return- The writer is unable to return to being a regular person, having found the delight of writing.
  • Freedom to Live- ok so I skipped some of the journey’s steps, but you get the point. Here, the writer releases the doubt, understands the process, and finishes the book to get it published. They start to work on the next book.

What are your thoughts on the Journey? Does your stories include the elements? Post in comments.

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NaNoWriMo 2015 Prep

The NaoNoWriMo, known as The National Novel Writing Month, was started in 1999 by Creative writer, Chris Baty. (see No Plot? No Problem!).

If you check out the web site, it explains the basic rules of writing fiction of 50,000 in thirty days in any genre, including fanfiction.

Back in 2007, I completed the National Novel Writing Month challenge. I learned a great deal, however, I’m not sure if I’d dedicate that sort of time again. Grueling, time consuming, I found myself not enjoying the writing process at all. It was much like boot camp; forcing you to write through pain, doubt, and everything else.

But others take on the NaNoWriMo almost every year, and I often suggest writers try it at least once for the experience, to see what you learn about yourself. Even if you fail to reach the 50,000 words in 30 days challenge, you still gain insight into yourself.

My tips:

  • Get writing done early in the day. I set my time for this because if things come up, you still have the rest of the day to make up the word count.
  • Get friends and family on board. My first time, I ended up friending someone who ended up teasing me when I fell behind- DO NOT DO THAT. You want a support system, not naysayers or competition. You want encouragement, not someone to cut you down.
  • Have your plot and characters planned out before November 1. In 2011, I tried NaNoWriMo but had nothing planned and quit a week into it. It was too stretched between ideas and plot changes to accomplish much. Have the most basic of conflict>climax>resolution outlined.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. You can make up the word count on a weekend or tacking on writing time throughout the week.
  • Even if you don’t reach the 50,000, the process can still prove valuable as a learning tool, as well giving you a block of writing you can edit later.

Post in comments your own experience with the NaNoWriMo, if you plan to join this year, or questions/comments about it. Winking smile

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Writers Digest: Build Your Author Platform Online

I found this video that had some tips and insight to the author platform- an online presence online- and how to market your writing.

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Filed under Author, Handy Links and Resources, Marketing