Shortly after starting this blog project, I realized the insanity of it. I’m not an authority on The Six Stage Plot Structure or The Hero’s Journey. I’m just like so many other writers out there – a student of the industry and the craft. I approach the draft of every one of these blog posts with apprehension. What could I possibly have to say regarding this next step in a way that could make any sort of impact on the lives of writers, readers, movie goers, etc.? However, it seems that every step of this journey touches me in a very profound way. I can only hope that it resonates with you as well, and possibly adds an additional element of awareness to your daily experiences with the arts and in your lives.
Stage III finds our hero with a clearly established end goal. He makes plans to take action, but obstacles are thrown in his way which causes him to vacillate between his Identity and Essence. Is he going to sidestep, counter, and overcome these obstacles, or will he cut his losses and run right back into his safe yet unfulfilling Identity? As an audience it gives us something to root for. We want to see our hero pick himself up and dive right back into the fight.
Life is filled with obstacles and conflicts. We’d be bored and would feel no sense of accomplishment if everything came to us in an easy, effortless way.
Recently things have been chugging along well in my writing world. My current WIP, Forbidden Signs, was selected as a finalist in two writing competitions. I also received requests from editors for a full manuscript for an older project, Second Hand Romance, that I thought was long dead. I’ve been feeling pretty optimistic. It’s important to note that these opportunities didn’t come without stomping the pavement or without risk. When you put yourself and your work out there, you are sailing right into the throes of possible rejection.
These positives could be why a recent not-so-pleasant experience knocked me for a loop. I had the opportunity to pitch to a literary agent at the recent NJRW conference. I barely uttered the most basic concept of teenage elemental gods for Forbidden Signs when she shrugged her shoulders and said “not for me.” She had absolutely no interest, and it hurt. Could she have approached the conversation better? Absolutely. Could she have pretended interest and asked me a question about say, the plot, the goals, the motivation, the conflict? Sure! But in the end, she did me a favor. She re-ignited the fire in my belly, and reminded me that not every opportunity is the right opportunity. Most importantly, when faced with a bump in the road, I refuse to retreat into my previous identity of low self-worth. I’m gunning for the end point people! I hope that you, whatever your goals are in life, do the same!