|Cover by Stephanie Mooney|
Here’s where you can find Trisha and tell her congrats!
|Cover by Stephanie Mooney|
Here’s where you can find Trisha and tell her congrats!
Here’s to love:
EDIT: This used to be a ridiculously long post so I cut it in half and made things less crazy. And added pictures. So here is Ordinary World through Tests, Allies, and Enemies.
It’s here! It’s here!
Now, onto the the twelve steps that are paired with the emotional/internal Hero’s Journey.
1. Ordinary World
External: This is the normal setting, the current situation of the hero.
This is where we learn what the protag looks like, where (the government, etc.) he lives, what he does.
Internal: Something’s missing (the Want) and the hero knows it’s missing. It’s his goal to get it.
We’re also introduced to the Flaw. This is what the hero doesn’t know is missing. It’s what’s keeping him from the Want.
In The Dark Knight, after the whole robbery scene, Batman kicks butt and saves some “helpers” (read: copycats.) He’s got a lot of things to get through, cleaning up Gotham as one does when one is the Batman.
The Want: He wants to clean up Gotham.
The Flaw? He takes on everything. Copycats, dogs, mob, Scarecrow. He has no limits. (Alfred says “Know your limits” later on. It’s the way the movie makes sure you know the internal problem for sure.)
Like in a movie, The Ordinary World is your opening image.
2. Call to Adventure
External: The problem introduces itself. The Goal from The Nines, Part One.
This is the real ride. The hero has his problems; his normal isn’t perfect, but this is the line for the roller coaster.
Internal: The hero knows this will change everything. The hero’s unsettled already.
Batman investigates that bank robbery from the beginning of the movie. A crazy man is on the loose. (We already know what The Joker’s capable of because of the robbery.) And the Batman has a vague idea too.
3. Refusal of the Call
External/Internal: declining the invitation. Remember the hero’s already got his hands full with his own goals and problems.
(Just because the hero has his own problems doesn’t mean he can’t say ‘yes.’ Someone else can say no for him. (Example in MG/YA: could be parents.))
Batman, right in the bank, tells Gordon and company that he has bigger problems (like the mob) than to chase one creepy bank robber.
4. Meeting the Mentor
External: Interacting with the mentor, the person who knows about the journey and who *could* (doesn’t mean will) help and give advice when the hero needs it.
(The mentor could be unhelpful and not wise at all.)
|Is what Albert should have said.|
Internal: The hero is encouraged to commit to the journey. Whether because the mentor encourages him or discourages him. (In the latter case, the hero’s out to prove the mentor wrong.)
Alfred, throughout TDK, always has something to say. At the house, while Bruce cleans up, Alfred tells Bruce to know his limits. (Later in the movie, he tells a story of a criminal who is just like The Joker. God, I love the writers of The Dark Knight!)
5. Crossing the First Threshold
External/Internal: This is the inciting incident. This launches the journey into motion. This is when the roller coaster starts moving up the tracks.
The hero’s committed to reaching the goal, solving the problem, or taking the opportunity.
Batman commits when The Joker crashes Harvey Dent’s fundraiser and asks for Dent and endangers Rachel.
If you remember, the Dent fundraiser was Wayne’s way of helping clean up Gotham so he can be with Rachel. The character is busy with their own life and their personal goal up until right now. This conflict has become the most pressing reason the hero can’t achieve his personal goal.
But this isn’t a one-time problem. This has to be a series of incidents, preferably getting more difficult with each struggle.
6. Tests, Allies, Enemies
External: New people, new experiences, clashing with the antagonist and/or villain.
Internal: The hero’s disoriented. This is all new. There are things he has to learn. He fails a lot. He’s vulnerable but there’s something about him he didn’t know existed. (The signs of Essence/the side of him that has the Need.)
New gadgets and tactics and stories for Batman. Too many to list but these are try-and-fail fights with The Joker too.
Obviously, these clashes escalate to the greatest danger. Can’t have a peak with no build-up.
Edit: Second part is here!
|It had to happen.|
EDIT: I came back to this because people still tell me how it’s helped them and how it still even helps me get my shit together. Also, it needed a little touch-up. P.S. Oh my gosh, there’s a 2012 joke in here. I’m so sorry.
I’d say that’s a sign of the apocalypse but that’s so 2012.
Besides, the pudding guys fixed our problem.
Anyway, I totally hate plotting but it helps rewrites and it’ll definitely set up the sequels.
Let me explain.
They’re split into sections. Five, four, twelve.
Story, Big Idea, Goal, Conflict, Solution.
I start with those five then focus on the protagonist:
Want, Flaw, Need, Consequence.
Then the last twelve are the Hero’s Journey. I’ll explain each point and give examples from The Dark Knight.
The first five came from my AP Lit class.
So this is only main conflict. Man vs. Nature Man vs. Man Etc.
In The Dark Knight, the main conflict is Man vs. Man: Batman vs. The Joker; Man vs. Self: Bruce Wayne vs. himself.
This is difficult but this is theme.
Could be growing up for YA or responsibility for NA.
Several ideas come out in The Dark Knight. Madness, chaos, standing for something believe in.
I’d recommend filling this out last possible moment if you don’t know. Pick basic, too.
The main idea to this Batman flick, I think, was roles. Throughout the movie, each role came with a set of belief and consequences.
Rachel’s job comes with dangerous possibilities. As a former girlfriend and current girlfriend, she’s also in danger. But her beliefs make her go to work and her beliefs make her leave Bruce.
Harvey Dent is DA and the public face for justice. He, no matter how much danger he’s in, stands for what he believes.
Batman–ya get it?
*Note: themes wouldn’t be themes if they didn’t apply to most of the characters. I.E. the commissioner, judge, etc.
This is the main goal of the story. The protag/main characters’ external goal.
Goals could be rescue the princess, become a vampire, kill a vampire.
The goal of The Dark Knight is for Batman to clear the way so he can be with Rachel Dawes.
This is what gets in the way of the goal.
A dragon and a tower to hide a princess. A boyfriend who’s thinking short term so he won’t let you become a vampire.
The conflict of The Dark Knight is rightfully a mixture of internal and external.
External: madman out to get rid of Batman, fed by mob money.
Internal: Bruce Wayne who goes after all crime thinking he’ll eventually clean the city. (When really it seems like he can’t handle quitting.)
This is how the goal is accomplished. So call it the ending too.
A talking donkey sidekick. A devastating pregnancy and violent birth.
In the Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne chooses to give up on having Rachel, to help Harvey Dent finish crime in Gotham.
These top five are only basics and TDK is so awesomely written, even in the most basic form, it makes my heart sing. (Am I annoying you yet? Omgawd, love Batman! >u<)
The next four revolve around the internal conflict and aid the Hero’s Journey thing.
These were the hardest to gather and worse to answer. Not to scare you.
But they’re also for next time!
Yes, I haven’t posted in forever, but the good news: I have been blogging! *pause for wide-eyed disbelief*
Yeah, obviously not here but blogging elsewhere and research for said blog has lead me to more people. And, unfortunately, more people who bring up the writing in my life.
Most commonly, people think writers sit at a desk, type and publish.
Which sometimes is the case. (Part of my blogging is not edited. Sorry. But you guessed it.)
Other people think everyone’s a writer. And that’s true. I always chuckle but it’s true. Most people can write and lots of people have ideas.
Then there are thin slices of people who ask about my book deal. I mean, I’ve finished several stories, right?
Cue the nervous puking.
Off and on, I write this post in a flurry, in a hurry to explain exactly what it means to be a writer.
Then one thing or another cools me down and I stop.
Like: who am I to know this is every experience?
But I’m one of those writers. I didn’t start writing because I wanted to write a bestseller or be published. When you’re in kindergarten, you tend to be unaware of a lot of things.
That’s right. Before I knew the whole alphabet–without singing it–I wrote.
Every morning, mom would stand me on her bed and dress me for school. All the while, I’d watch Sailor Moon and all her kick-ass glory.
I wanted that excitement and heart-fluttery feeling all the time.
I didn’t own a camera, I didn’t know how to draw, my doll games would exist only in a moment then vanish, never to be seen again but I had crayons and markers and pencils and old art projects.
That’s how I started writing. It’s a love that’s never faded. (And is cheaper than arranging actors, screenplays, and cameras.)
Similar stories play around the writing community. They found words and that was it. Love at first sight.
But writers seem to be ‘in’ now. Call it Twilight Fever or whatever. I don’t know the reason but people will, casually, say, ‘Oh, I have a story idea.’
And those of us who know the scene, think, ‘crap. Now I have to feign interest and be encouraging.’
Though, usually, whoever says they have an idea want praise for the idea alone. No one’s going to sign you for an idea. Everyone, creative or not, gets ideas. And the premise doesn’t sell books either. WRITING does.
I know. Strange that a writer should have to write. It’s incredible, I know.
I’m not saying this to discourage any wannabe bestsellers. Plenty of people found writing later in their lives and found direction. Plenty of people have probably adjusted their attitudes and become bestsellers.
But, as the teacher from All Grown Up said to Angelica, ‘So many writers began with, well, writing.’
If there’s no driving force urging you to finish the story, think about your brain-sparkle idea. If you have these ideas and they never catch fire, no matter how long you wait, it might not come.
If you don’t enjoy writing, trust me, there are no rewards.
I am unpublished, unagented, a nobody but I write everyday. And it’s been ages since I started. I’m aware I might never make it.
Check your reasons for writing.
In reality, we don’t all get 6 figures. Some of us, if at all published, never go beyond self-pub or the publish button on our blogs, and do you even know my name?
Look at all the books at the store. How many names have you seen on the big screen or on the lineup for talk shows?
For writers who have writing in their veins, they go to bed late thinking about that scene and giddy–no matter how bad the night went–to get up in the morning and write again. Some of us dream up solutions and wake up thinking about writing.
Every time you see a writer staring off into space, they’re thinking about writing (…or who on Earth they forgot at school. (Guilty.))
We love the extensive research (things as tiny as grass kinds and cities and towns we never end up using or seeing;) we love the endless outlining and we adore the long hours.
We love reading for research, love taking notes.
It’s not always love but love is a driving force. If it sounds like marriage, that’s because it is. Commitment, loyalty, etc., all that jazz.
You can’t be a writer if you can’t write. You can’t write if you don’t love what you’re doing. And if you don’t love writing, I don’t know why you are.
So think about it. Writing isn’t as luxurious as the media makes it seem.