Monday, February 28, 2011

Writer's Journey, con't

Mondays get a slow writing start since I have a Bible study class first thing in the morning. But, here goes with the second installment on the Writer's Journey.

This book is based on the movie premise of three acts. If a book, screenplay or story is 120 pages, one-fourth, or 30 pages, makes up the first act, 60 pages the second act and 30 pages the third act, approximately. The last post dealt with the Original World, first of a story's 12 elements. Once that world is established, the character faces several other elements in the first act.

Element 2. The Call to Adventure - is where the hero encounters a problem, challenge or adventure. The hero is forced to leave the ordinary world and enter a new world where the problem, etc., exists. We now know the hero's goal. In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy wants to return home.

Element 3. Refusal of the Call (Reluctant Hero) - The hero may not accept the call to adventure at this point. She may not commit completely to the journey yet. Her fear escalates, circumstances may change, the problem worsens or she needs a push from someone or something to send her into the journey (adventure).

Element 4. Mentor (The Wise old Man or Woman) - Some stories introduce someone who can urge the hero to accept the journey. A mentor "stands for the bond between child and parent, teacher and student, doctor and patient, god and man." The mentor prepares the hero for the journey. In the Wizard of Oz, the mentor is the good witch who advises Dorothy and gives her ruby slippers which eventually help Dorothy return home.

Element 5. Crossing the First Threshold - At last the hero commits to the journey, accepts the call to adventure, and faces the consequences of the problem. Dorothy takes off on the Yellow Brick Road.

Crossing the first threshold ends act one as the first turning point.

The 12 elements outline the three-act premise of a story. After we see them all, I'll explain the archetypes of a story and explain in more detail the 12 elements. 

On Friday morning I received the Pelican contract for the second in the HOW THE WEST WAS DRAWN series - Frederic Remington's Art. Now I must update all my information, send everything to Pelican, and wait for the return of a signed contract. Then I order permissions/rights. I'm not sure what the publication date is but, most likely, it will be next spring. YAHOO!!


  1. Congratulations on the contract for your second book! Yay!

  2. I am struggling getting past my first plot point, and this helps. So thanks!

    And congrats on the contract :)