Monday, November 30, 2009

The Supreme Ordeal

The Supreme Ordeal is the black moment of your book. The hero faces the possibility of death and is brought to the brink in a battle with a hostile force. The reader is held in suspense and tension, not knowing how things will work out. Your hero is in the "belly of the whale."

This is a critical moment where the hero must die or appear to die so he can be "born again." The experiences of all the stages so far have led us (the reader) to this moment. Our job, as authors, has been to create such character/reader involvement, that the reader experiences the brink-of-death moment with the heroine. Emotions are temporarily depressed so they can be revived by the hero's return from death.

Every story needs a life-or-death moment in which the hero or his goals are in mortal jeopardy. This is the climax of the story. Everything hinges on this moment.

We want to build up to this point, pacing the story so we don't get there too soon or too late. And we don't want to make it obvious how our hero gets out of the horrendous situation.

If you've come this far in your story, how are you handling it?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Greetings, fellow FFFers! I meant to post this on Monday, but the days have gotten away from me.

I wish you all a blessed and joyful Thanksgiving celebration! I'm thankful for each and everyone of you. We'll get back to The Hero's Journey next week.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
pam <><

Monday, November 16, 2009

Approach to the Inmost Cave

The most dangerous spot in your hero's world is the Inmost Cave. When the hero enters that place, he will cross the second major threshold. This is an opportunity to stop, prepare, plan and outwit the villian's guards, which is known as the Approach.

This is the heart of the Special World, between the border and the center of the Hero's Journey.
The hero may find other Threshold Guardians, tests, allies and enemies. Now is the time to make final preparations for the central ordeal of the adventure. *Just a reminder of what a Threshold Guardian is: these are powerful figures who raise the banner of fear and doubt, questioning the hero's worthiness. Their purpose is to block the Hero from the adventure.*

Some heroes may develop a romance here. Some boldly stride up to the castle door and demand to be let in. Some sneak in the back way. But the hero needs to beware of obstacles, illusions, guardians, warnings and "impossible" tests. They may enter another special world.

Here is the time to raise the stakes, add complications, build conflict and tension and have time to step back and reorganize. The hero is facing internal challenges as well as external.

The Inmost Cave can be physical or emotional.

There's a lot to think about here. We have to remember this part of our story can be so very different from other stories. It's a large part of the Adventure. What do you think about this part of the Journey? How are you handling it?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


We've had some great discussion on Enemies/Villians. Let's turn our attention to Allies.

Allies, friends, sidekicks. Typically, we have all these things in our story. They help the Heroine.

Allies come and go. Friends come and go. Sidekicks pretty much stay with the Hero. These characters can provide help, companionship, wisdom and humor.

In my WIP, Akeela has several friends. Not sure if any of them qualify for the type of sidekick we usually think of. There's Anon (a faun who is mentally challenged), Hawk (the boy she ends up falling in love with) and Hawk's cousins (a boy and a girl.) They all travel with her until the very end when she has to spend some time alone.

Allies can also band together to form a team, which I've done with Akeela.

I also have fairies, who are under the antagonist's (Tzmet) spell. They are enemies who mascarade as allies. This ends up causing a rift between Akeela and Hawk, which is the ulimate cause of Akeela falling into the Moon Dancer world. Which is not a good thing. Which is a good thing ... for tension. HA!

How important are allies, friends and sidekicks? How are you using them in your stories?
Let's talk!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Villians and Magic Arts

I'd like to continue talking about our villians. As Christian writers who love the fantasy genre and understand we can tell great stories in this way, we also know we need a dark character to come against our hero/heroine.

How far do we delve into the dark characters? How much do we reveal in their thoughts or actions? It depends on our audience, of course.

And what about magic? Scripture warns us to stay away from magic arts. Still, in fantasy, magic arts are prominant, especially in the villians. Take The Lord of the Rings; there are good and bad wizards and there is Sauron. All have some kind of magic power, but they are also limited.

How are you handling this in your WIP?
Let's talk!