Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year and Setting Goals

We had some good discussion on The Hero's Journey. I hope it's helped you with your writing.
Here is a brief overview:

Heroes are introduced in the ORDINARY WORLD, where they recieve the CALL TO ADVENTURE. They are RELUCTANT at first, or REFUSE THE CALL, but are encouraged by a MENTOR to CROSS THE FIRST THRESHOLD and enter the Special World, where they encounter TESTS, ALLIES and ENEMIES. They APPROACH THE INMOST CAVE, crossed a second threshold where they endure the SUPREME ORDEAL. They take possession of the REWARD and are pursued on THE ROAD BACK to the Ordinary World. They cross the third threshold, experience a RESURRECTION, and are transformed by the experience. They RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR, a boon or treasure to benefit the Ordinary World.

The Hero's Journey is a skeletal framwork that needs fleshing out with details and surprises of the individual story. The structure shouldn't call attention to itself or followed too precisely. The order of the stages above is only one of many combinations. The stages can be deleted, added to and shuffled around without losing any of its power. Only you, as the author, can determine what your story requires.

So, now we face a New Year. This is a good time to set some goals and share them. It's important to have encouragement to keep our goals, so let's help each other and hold each other accountable. What are your writing goals for 2010?


  1. First of all my goal for 2009 was to finish the first draft of my WIP. I finished the first draft at 9:00 PM on New Years eve. Three hours early, that's good for me.

    2010 goals:
    I started doing a monthly newsletter in September and did one for each following month of 2009. For 2010 I want to send out a newsletter each month.

    In June of 2009 I created Blog sites for the four main characters of my book. In the last 7 months of 2008 I posted 18 blogs entries, or about 2 per month. In 2010 I want to post at least on entry per week.

    I was inspired my Christine's flogging. By March I want to have submitted my first 16 lines for a flogging. I'm not sure I can do any better than most of the people who get flogged there, and I have to admit I'm a little fearful to try, but it seems like a first good step to get ready to send my WIP to an editor, where I'm sure they'll flog the whole thing.

    My WIP has very short chapters. 108 chapters of about 1050 words each (133,00 words total). I've created a check list from the things I learned from The Fire In Fiction. I want to do a revision of four chapters a week, or all of them by the end of June.
    What's the point, Outer turn, Inner turn, Concise dialog, First Line, Last line, Micro tension, Building storm.

    Read the two books I received for my birthday on revisions and getting published by June so I will know how to do the second revision and start on the road to getting published.

    And finally, post something here each week:)

  2. Good goals, Doug! Congrats on completing your WIP before Jan. 1st!!

    My goals:

    1) to finish the private writing space upstairs

    2) to finish my WIP

    3) to read at least 2 books on writing

    4) to read the fantasy novels my brother gave me

    5) to find new and interesting things for my blog

  3. Here's mine:

    * Finish WIP before next december

    * Finish my little story in five days

    * To find new books to read

    :) Thank you for this blog, Mrs. Halter!!

  4. Hi, I'm Bekah. I've been secretly stalking the discussion, but I've been busy and (fine, I'll admit it) a little scared to comment among all you talented and smart people. :) So there's my first writerly 2010 resolution: start posting here.

    The rest are:

    + designate an hour everyday to write (two hours daily on the weekends). It's too easy to get caught up in life and end up with only a few scattered sentences and a hurried poem or two by the end of the month (December's sad story...).
    + diligently blog once a week. I keep promising myself I will, know...
    + finish my WIP by the next new year.

    We'll see how many of these I actually manage to keep as the year goes on :)

  5. Welcome, Bekah! Please don't feel scared or ever feel like you have nothing to contribute. Everyone is valuable here. We're all going to learn and discuss and I hope we'll have fun while we're doing it.