Thoughts on Mythic Structure: Approach to the Inmost Cave

This is Part 6 of my series on the hero's journey, or monomyth. 1. This stage of the journey is when the story begins to coalesce around a major confrontation with the antagonist. The part of the journey that falls under "Tests, Allies and Enemies" can take up quite a bit of the story after … Continue reading Thoughts on Mythic Structure: Approach to the Inmost Cave

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Thoughts on Mythic Structure: Crossing the First Threshold

This is Part 4 of my series on monomyth, or the hero's journey. 1. Crossing the first threshold is the transition from Act 1 to Act 2 of your story. Up to this point, your hero is still connected to her ordinary world. In many models of mythic structure, the first part of the story … Continue reading Thoughts on Mythic Structure: Crossing the First Threshold

Thoughts on Mythic Structure: The Meeting with the Mentor

This is Part 3 in my series on mythic structure, or the hero’s journey. 1. Even though this stage of the journey is positioned after The Call to Adventure and The Refusal of the Call, the Meeting with the Mentor can happen at any point in the story. It is common for the hero to … Continue reading Thoughts on Mythic Structure: The Meeting with the Mentor

Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Hero

1. Heroes often have an unusual origin story. In spite of some people nowadays groaning at the origin stories in superhero comics and movies, they have a mythological basis. In folk lore and mythology, heroes may have an unusual conception. (Zeus was always turning himself into various animals so he could get it on with … Continue reading Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Hero

The Great Villain Blogathon: Waldo Lydecker, Laura, 1944

This post is part of the Great Villain Blogathon hosted by Ruth of Silver Screenings, Karen of Shadows & Satin, and Kristina of Speakeasy  — see all the movie baddies at any of these three blogs. YES, there will be SPOILERS. "I don't use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom." - … Continue reading The Great Villain Blogathon: Waldo Lydecker, Laura, 1944

Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Shadow

I will be participating in The Great Villain Blogathon next week, so what better way to set the tone than a post about the shadow archetype? 1. I've already done a post with tips for creating a great antagonist, but shadow characters don't necessarily have to be antagonists or villains. As I will demonstrate with … Continue reading Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Shadow

Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Shapeshifter

In Part 6 of my series about archetypes, I will examine the Shapeshifter: 1. As the name implies, a shapeshifter is a character who is not what he or she appears to be, either to the hero, the reader, or both. 2. Shapeshifting may be a literal part of the character. Obvious examples would be … Continue reading Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Shapeshifter

Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Threshold Guardian

In part 5 of my series on archetypes, I will examine the role of the Threshold Guardian: 1. Traditionally, the threshold guardian was a person or thing that stood in the hero’s way just as he or she enters the “new world” of the adventure. This was nearly always the first event that happened at … Continue reading Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Threshold Guardian

Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Fool

This is Part 4 of my series about archetypes. In this article, I will examine the Fool. 1. Don’t assume “fool” is interchangeable with “stupid.” While some fool characters may be stupid, that’s not the essence of the archetype. Elizabeth Bennet’s mother in Jane Austen’s novel Pride & Prejudice is a very silly woman, but … Continue reading Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Fool

Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Herald

In Part 3 of my series, “Writers, Know Your Archetypes,” I will examine the role of The Herald archetype in a story: 1. The primary function of herald characters is to give the protagonist “The Call to Adventure.” Or, to put it in more modern terms, their function is to kick off the plot. The … Continue reading Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Herald

Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Mentor

In Part 2 of my series, “Writers, Know Your Archetypes,” I want to study the role of the mentor. Here are some things to keep in mind about mentor characters in your stories: 1. The main function of a mentor is, of course, to teach and guide the protagonist. The word originates from Homer’s The … Continue reading Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Mentor

Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Trickster

archetype noun a perfect or typical specimen an original model or pattern; prototype (psychoanalysis) one of the inherited mental images postulated by Jung as the content of the collective unconscious a constantly recurring symbol or motif in literature, painting, etc ---from the English Collins Dictionary Writers are sometimes wary of archetypes, worried they will lead … Continue reading Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Trickster