Monday, March 19, 2012

The Call To Adventure

Many novels are modeled on the Hero’s Journey whether the expedition is a classic adventure or an internal transformation. Lately, I’ve been thinking about The Call to Adventure and what causes a character to leave a safe, secure and familiar world to embark into the unknown, face danger and return changed.

The hero doesn’t go for funsies.

The hero doesn’t go because he or she is bored.

The hero must be compelled to go. The stakes must be high. The known world or the hero might be threatened, and only the hero can solve this problem. Sometimes the known world is terrible, and the adventure is the only means of escape, gaining wisdom or finding salvation. The hero must be faced with an unbearable choice. Going may be terrifying, but staying is impossible.

Otherwise, there is no reason to leave.

Otherwise, there might not be a reason to write the novel.

I’m currently planning a new project, and any day now, I’ll figure out my Call to Adventure.

I hope.

4 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

So true about the call to adventure. I have that figured out. Now if I could only totally figure out my magical item.

Wyman Stewart said...

Helen of Troy, most beautiful lady in the world at the time, kidnapped; in need of saving.

Moses leading his people to the Promise Land.

Would Knights be as bright without slaying dragons to save their people or royal fortunes lost?

Columbus discovering America (the unexpected), while looking for a shorter, unknown, possible dangerou route to India. (Could have fell off the edge of the world, then what?)

Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon. Was it really so America could save the world from the potential dominance of Communism?

Frodo Baggins, uh read long time ago, so forgot, was he returning a ring?

To Natalie Aguire: Ring, bracelets, cup /vessel, a statuette, a bone, a glass eye (ugh! I know), a magic book, magic slippers, walking stick, magic bow & arrow, magic potion, magic lantern, magic spoon, etc. Check out old children's books or create a magic computer chip, if the story is modern day. Just pick an object common to the world you are creating.

Sorry, I am sure I must be way off base on what both of you are talking about. Good luck!

Lori said...

This is helpful, Ann. I think my current project (that I'll get back to working on sometime. . . ) has this problem even though it's not a classic hero's journey. I will say, extreme boredom can be a call to adventure--boredom can get people in a lot of trouble, especially kids. ;-)

Ann Finkelstein said...

Natalie: You'll figure it out soon.
Wyman: Great examples.
Lori: I'll have to re-think boredom. Maybe it will become a future blog post. Thanks.