Thoughts on Mythic Structure: The Ordeal

This is Part 7 of my series on the hero’s journey, or monomyth.

1. The ordeal is the first major confrontation with the main forces of antagonism.

After undergoing many tests, forming alliances, figuring out enmities, gaining some respect in the extraordinary world of the adventure, it is time for the hero to experience her first major battle against the antagonist(s).

2. This generally occurs at the mid-point of the story.

The ordeal is not interchangeable with the climax of a story. This is the major crisis, not the end of the journey. It doesn’t have to be at the mid-point. It’s fine if the ordeal occurs later, but it’s important to remember this is not where the story ends and that it’s not necessarily the last confrontation with the forces of antagonism. Continue reading “Thoughts on Mythic Structure: The Ordeal”

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 42,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 16 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. Click here to see the complete report. This was an exciting year for me, blog-wise! I was Freshly Pressed for the first time with my post Zimbio Quizzes are Ruining My Life. Then later in the year I was Freshly Pressed … Continue reading 2014 in review

The Strong Female Character: I Do Not Think That Means What Some People Think It Means


I recently started watching the new TV series Outlander, based on the popular books by Diana Gabaldon. I have never read the books. The series sounded like something I might enjoy, about a woman who time-travels to 18th Century Scotland.

After watching two episodes, I’m already done with it.

I see people raving about the show on Twitter and other social media. Like Charlie Brown, I don’t know how to argue with success. Something is resonating with many viewers, and I don’t mind that they are enjoying it.

But to me it’s a major disappointment. It made me think of how the term “strong female character” is so often misconstrued. Continue reading “The Strong Female Character: I Do Not Think That Means What Some People Think It Means”

7 Tips For Creating Memorable Characters

Originally posted on MOON IN GEMINI:
1. Don’t become over-dependent on character charts. I’ll be honest. I’m not a fan of character charts. I don’t think a lot of the information on them is necessary for creating (or for a writer “getting a grip” on) characters. No one cares how many freckles or moles your character has, or what the character’s favorite flavor of ice cream is, or that the dog they had when they were growing up was a poodle named Muffy, or what job they had when they were 17, unless a detail like that is critical to… Continue reading 7 Tips For Creating Memorable Characters

2014 Starts on a Writing High Note: I’m a Project REUTSway Winner x 2 (and a half)!


As mentioned in a previous post, I participated in Project REUTSway, a short story contest held by REUTS Publications. I found out a month ago that I was one of the finalists. Today the winners were announced and TWO out of my three stories were chosen for the anthology! My third story is a runner-up, which means it will be posted on their blog at some point in the coming year!


Continue reading “2014 Starts on a Writing High Note: I’m a Project REUTSway Winner x 2 (and a half)!”

8 Reasons Why Hollywood Should Have Shelved The Lone Ranger Movie

(SIDENOTE: This week is my one-year Blogversary! WordPress informed me on July 1 that I have had this blog for one year, but that was the day I signed up for a blog. My first blog post appeared on July 8, 2012. Thanks to all who have stopped by over the past year!) What does it mean to “shelve” a movie? That’s Hollywood-speak for a project that’s put aside, usually for good, at some point in the development stage. The Lone Ranger, which opened this week, was almost shelved because of its projected $250 million budget. The studio was convinced … Continue reading 8 Reasons Why Hollywood Should Have Shelved The Lone Ranger Movie

Originally posted on MOON IN GEMINI:
After a lot of frustration trying to find good titles for my projects, I started thinking about titles of successful books and movies.  I realized they usually fall into categories.  Knowing these categories help me create a strategy for finding the perfect title. 1. Main Character – this is the obvious place to start.  I’m not a fan of using the name of the main character as the title of a book.  Sure, there are instances where that worked out fine (Forrest Gump, Dexter) and others where that helped create a disaster (the movie… Continue reading