Wednesday, April 1, 2009
A Hero's Journey
When PJ Hoover came to visit yesterday she talked about The Hero's Journey and how she used it in writing her Forgotten World Series, the first book of which is The Emerald Tablet. The evening event had a very attentive audience who asked tons of questions afterwards and eagerly lined up to get their copy of the book signed. My son even got a special repeat performance of the presentation later that evening, because he had to miss the beginning due to baseball practice.
The presentation was fantastic dealing with where she gets her ideas and the importance of mythology in modern life. She gave a quick retelling of Odysseus' journey in order to demonstrate a journey that a hero takes, starting with a call to action and refusing that call, through adventures that change him and finally to the end, where the hero is home again, but changed in some way.
The kids asked interesting and thoughtful questions and everyone had a great time.
But I learned more than the importance of the hero's journey in all this. I learned how important good critique group members are.
PJ and I are members of the same internet-based critique group. We read each others works and critique them. We (and the 6 other members) help brainstorm new ideas or how to make something that isn't working quite right work better.
We've gotten to know each other fairly well this way - but yesterday was the first time we got to meet in person. And she is as delightful as I knew she would be. The visit was over too quickly and will make me wish we could see each other far more often. But it did reinforce how good it is to have someone who can be a go-to person when you have trouble with a work in progress. Writing can be a solitary experience, but it doesn't have to be. And my writing life is much improved by having PJ Hoover and the other members of my critique group in it.