I went to the Black Hills Writers Group tonight. I've wanted to attend for a year now and finally made it happen. The group is a collection of writers of all types simply helping each other out. I heard some great writing and heard all kinds of reasons for writing and not writing. Many of the excuses for not writing are quite familiar. I had a good time. I remember way back when I would've stayed in my car in the parking lot, travel to a local pub for a few, went home and made excuses on why the group is not for me. I have another obligation on Tuesdays which has made it difficult to make the first meeting of the writer's group. I'm glad I finally had the opportunity and hope to become a member. It's worth every penny at only $24 a year.
The writing is cruising along despite yet another visit from the brother-in-law. It appears that he joined the military during the Ford Administration. Apparently they let anybody in during that time. it was right after the Vietnam War when the military wasn't exactly popular. Anyway, Gene always plays Tiger Woods on the golf game and finally I get to say I beat Tiger. For any man who has played at least one round of golf that is a dream come true. We didn't get to eat the almost cardboard pizza but Tammy and Malia both got to play. We also hit the links and played a REAL round of golf. All of us had much different results on the course than we did on the game. lets just say none of us are packing our bags to join the tour.
I have been thinking about 'story' a lot lately. One of the best books I've read on the subject is, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell. This book is a study of a hero's journey and reveals how all mythologies have basically one archetypal hero. The book is eye opening and a great road map for anyone writing a book. I always have it in mind when I'm thinking about how to get my hero to do this or that or what will compel him to act or not to act. Is he refusing the 'call' in the story and if so how do I, as the author, force him to do it anyway. What does his return to home look like? In my story the return is more internal since his home can longer be the home he remembers from childhood. I've already used the ideas in Campbell's book to force my main character to do something he normally wouldn't do... leave his life of being comfortably miserable. He is on the adventure I set him on because it is impossible for him to return to his old life. Thank you Campbell.
For anyone who reads The Hero With A Thousand Faces it will forever change the movie Star Wars. No matter if you're a big fan of the movies or really could care less this book puts the first three episodes (or really Episode IV, V, and VI) into a different category of classic films. What Lucas did (and he studied under Joseph Campbell) was pure magic. I thought that as a child but now as an adult, seeing the story through the hero's journey, I find it even more powerful. It ranks up there with The Iliad or Les Miserables; two of my absolute favorites. The blueprint discovered by Campbell is followed almost to a tee (had to use a golf analogy here) in the original Star Wars trilogy.
I travel next week to Watertown to celebrate my mother-in-laws 80th birthday. This means another challenge to my writing schedule and being surrounded by a group of people related to Gene. God help me. Nothing says 'smooth sailing' like a bunch of adult children planning a party for a parent. What could possibly go wrong here???
until next time... God Bless!