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Writing from the Dark Side

Heh! I started out calling this blog post "Blogging from the Darkside" and then went to "Writing from the Darkside" and then went on to finally arrive at "Pubbing from the Darkside".  This little tidbit of information should be able to give you a little hint over what has been happening at the Oliver Homestead since I last posted.

Big News! I am part of a great collaboration with a collection of Writers who decided that if a romance book should be done, it should be done by us! Hence, the beginning of what is now know as Welcome to Serenity Harbor, Maine.

This is huge! This is ginormous! All of the books are set around the fictional coastal Maine town of Serenity Harbor. We didn't limit genre, only that their characters fall in love in Maine.

For me, this was a return to something that I love... well, yes... it was a return to writing. I've blogged a little bit about some of my struggles with illness that left with being unable to write for a whi…

Oh the Trials and Tribulations...

Yesterday, we talked about the Call to Adventure. Today, we're on to the Trials and Tribulations that plague us on our Journey to Campbell's mythic story structure.

We've already set the stage with our hero/heroine by creating an inciting incident that introduces them as well as illustrating to the reader just how far they willing to go for what they want. The Call to Adventure is that event that brings them to the point where they know they can no longer avoid what needs to be done. Their need is so great that they will do whatever it takes to get it.

But, oh, those Trials and Tribulations!
You know... those pesky little things that get in the way of what your characters want most. I went to see the new Clone Wars movie with my son on Friday. Before my eyes glazed over from having to watch what is basically a good movie (but, still a cartoon), I was able to identify that mythic story structure the Star Wars stories are so famous for following. Anaken and Obi Wan (please forgive me if I spell these wrong) know what they must accomplish. Their paths are set. But there are so many trials and tribulations along the way that you begin to wonder if they are in fact going to accomplish their goal. Each task becomes successively more difficult. The stakes are raised along the way. And, by the end of this there is no doubt that the characters are determined to succeed.

Currently, I'm reading Chris Marie Green's Midnight Reign. This is the second book in the Vampire Babylon series and even though I haven't read the first one yet, it's clear what the heroine wants. She wants most to find her father. And we begin to see that all these things that are distracting her from her main goal are the trials and tribulations of the mythic story structure.

These trials and tribulations are there for a reason. They up the ante for the character. They test their mettle to be able to perform the tasks. And they serve to increase their need to achieve. Every good case of Trials and Tribulations will result is self-discovery. Their greatest weaknesses are brought forth and can only be overcome by their greatest strength.

These are the things that lead up to that "God is my witness" moment from Gone with the Wind.

But be forewarned, the trials and tribulations should serve to increase the tension of the story. They should move the story forward and force the emotions of the characters to the point of breaking and determination. These are true mythic trials. Remember the minotaur in the labyrinth? Theseus volunteered to go kill the minotaur to keep the sacrifices from happening. He was added by Ariadne who loved him and helped him navigate the labyrinth and kill the minotaur. All the things that challenged Theseus in the labyrinth were his trials and tribulations.

I'm taking a break from the story structure on Sunday. But I'll be back with more on Monday.


Helen Ginger said…
I'm enjoying this recap of the hero's journey. It's good to review all of this. And you're doing a great job of explaining it and giving examples. Thank you!
zhadi said…
And didn't Theseus then dump Ariadne? Those greek heroes weren't much on loyalty to the women who helped them along the way...

I'm liking these posts, Teagan!

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We have the cover and that is a really good thing! Especially, since it's a really great cover!

This has been THE project for the last six months. Much of that time has been spent writing my part of the anthology, a novella called ONLY YOU. Another part of that was working with my friend and cohorts to come up with this great anthology! Why wouldn't you enjoy it?! It's filled with stories of love that are all set around the fictional Maine town of Serenity Harbor. Want to know which town Serenity Harbor is patterned after? We'll never tell... well, maybe we will!

Anyway, who can write better about love in Maine than a bunch of Maine Romance authors! I gave you a tantalizing tidbit the other day from my story. Poor Nate Cooper, he doesn't know what he's up against when he decides to take on Kara Simpson. Lucky for him, he's got the whole town behind him!

And what is this rumor of sheep wandering the streets of Serenity Harbor, Maine? Well, you'll just ha…