I assume you are all aware of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey? It's the foundation on which much fantasy is built. Think LORD OF THE RINGS. Well it occurs to me that our own journey is much like that of the heroes in our books. Now if you research this, you will see deviations in the steps involved, and it's widely accepted that each journey is going to be slightly different - not all the steps will be used. So I've taken the liberty of exploring how this archetype might apply to us as writers...
- CALL TO ADVENTURE: The writer lives in the ordinary world, but something is missing. Then one day she is challenged to write a story. Who sends out the call? Perhaps the story itself. The MC whispers to her subconscious and won't let her go..
- MAGICAL HELPER/GUIDE: Once committed to the quest - um, I mean book - the writer is going to need guidance. So she turns to the magical and wise mentors from places such as SCBWI, or other conferences, or even the Blogosphere.
- THE FIRST THRESHOLD: No turning back. The writer crosses into the magical world opened by releasing those words to paper (or computer). Suddenly she's not in Kansas anymore, but why would she ever go back?
- TESTS AND TASKS: Typically they come in threes. Perhaps this refers to the writer facing critique partners, agents, and publishers. Battling her way through revision and rejection.
- SUPREME ORDEAL: We, at some point, hit that low. That I'm-never-going-to-succeed-and-I-should-just-quit phase. But like the beaten and broken hero, we get up and keep going. (We're so swoon worthy)
- SEIZING THE SWORD: Despite everything, the writer uses her newfound powers to revise the manuscript, or start on a fresh one, and gets THE CALL.
So looking at this I have to say it's no wonder writers gravitate to this formula... What do you think?