Tag Archives: Hero’s Journey
Hello all. Welcome to NaNoWriMo Preparations… Last year I stumbled upon Arwen’s 33 Days to Finish Your Novel. I wanted to try something different and outlining my novel via Tarot and the Hero’s Journey sounded interesting, creative, and fun. I watched a couple of her videos, read her information about the course, and signed up. It’s one of the best things I’ve done for my writing.
Thanks to Arwen, I outlined my novel Witchy Business for NaNoWriMo last year, and I went on to outline yet another novel, both of those are works-in-progress. And now it’s time to prepare for this year’s novel. Out came my notebook with everything from Arwen’s course, along with Corrine Kenner’s book Tarot for Writer’s, two or three of my tarot decks, a notebook, my writer’s bullet journal, and my Writer’s Bible, pens and highlighters, colored index cards. And what do you know… I’m ready. Oh, and the coffee–that’s a must.
And away I go with the start of my outline. I’ve been busy the past two days. I have gotten my supplies together, started my character sketch, started the first part of my outline. Tomorrow I start working on my MC’s GMC (goal, motivation, conflict). After that it’s the Antagonist and his GMC. First index card with tarot card (a copy of it) is pinned on my tri-fold board–my storyboard no longer looks like a blank canvas.
I feel like I accomplished something today, even though it took me friggin’ forever to get the second part of my NaNoWriMo Prep Pt 2/Beginning of my Outline edited. Grrrr! I really need to figure out the editing software that I purchased so I can quit using Movie Maker. That, or I need to win the lottery so I can afford an iMac. 😀
I’m really excited. My outlining is going well so far. 😀
Slowly but surely I am getting things in my life organized, part of that includes my new writer bullet journal and preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m using tarot and the hero/heroine’s journey to loosely outline my novel–the same one I started back in November for NaNoWriMo. Since November I’ve changed the first 3-4 chapters completely–I wasn’t starting at the right place. Since November, I’ve been using the 12 week self-guided course from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” to help me with my creativity and living a creative life. And, since November I’ve become much more organized.
Part of how I’ve become more organized was to stop trying to use pre-made planners, they just don’t work for me, and to instead roll with a system that seems as if it were made for people who are To-Do List’ers–the bullet journal system. I started bullet journaling, and then realized that for me personally, I needed something more along the lines of an omni-journal (so I could throw in my sketch-your-day/illustrate-your-life/Hobonichi style journaling in there), but I needed something separate for my writing. I have a writer’s bible, I use it to put all of my writing stuff in: an insert for the actual novel, which I use when I handwrite my novel, and an insert for what I call my writer journal, where I talk about how my writing went, how much I wrote, what I thought about it, any shiny new ideas…
Planning a novel has been quite a bit of a journey for me–a few years worth of trying to find what works for me. I’ve tried various things (Save the Cat, the Marshall Plan, the Snowflake Method, Janice Hardy’s method for Plotting your Novel, etc) and what has worked the best for me is using Tarot cards and the Hero’s Journey, which I learned from taking Arwen Lynch’s eCourse. I have a playlist on YT where I went through the course:
I had a ton of fun. And am continuing to use it so I can revamp the novel I wrote in November, except now I have a Leuchtturm 1917 Master Notebook to use as my “Writing/Writer” Bullet Journal. I needed more space than the A5 allowed for my planning. And since the journal isn’t leaving my home, except on rare occasion, I knew I’d be fine with the large size of the Master Leuchtturm. (And it is a whopper: over 200 pages of what looks like vanilla colored paper that is perfect for writing (not so much for art journaling though) and it has an Index–a win in my book.)
Now I just need to finish my storyboard, which means making copies of the tarot cards that I pulled for my outline and putting them on the storyboard; cleaning my desk off, and finishing the last bit of my outline. 😀
So here are some pictures of what I’m working on in my bullet journal for writing:
Not only am I planning my novel using an eCourse called 33 Days to finish your novel (using the hero’s journey and tarot) by Arwen Lynch, but today I also rearranged my writing room. I’ve been busy, to say the least.
This week I’ve also been watching my grandson because my daughter is working out of town, which means I’ve been taking him to daycare, picking him up, cooking dinner, then it’s time to eat (sitting down at the dining room table), then it’s bath time, then cartoon and cuddling time, then bed time. 😀 And during his time at daycare I’ve been working on my outline. Today, however, I spent the day rearranging and organizing my writing room so I could make room for a black click-clack couch that turns into a full-size bed when opened. A much needed accessory for any writing room that is also a slash-guest room. Not to mention that it’ll probably be my reading spot. 😀
Having a comfortable spot that allows your muse to roam free is important when writing, but even more so when you spend a lot of time there. I’ve tried all different kinds of spots, from the living room to the dining room to my bedroom, to a different room in the house (that room is now my son’s), and I think I finally might have (almost) found my happy place (at least for now–until we can afford to get one of those cute shed/cottages that I can turn into a writing shed/cottage (at least a 12×15).
I have a few more adjustments I need to make, like getting a few more of the wall shelves to house books–going vertical is a must since floor space is limited, or craft stuff, etc, but for now this will work. It’s a work-in-progress just like my novel.
In preparations for NaNoWriMo this year I knew I had to do something different. What I’d done previously hadn’t worked, and I’ve tried many things from pantsing to plotting (using all different kinds of methods from Save the Cat, the Marshall Plan, Mapping your Novel, Planning your Novel, and the list goes on), but I never got in the outlining zone. I got enthusiastic, and I got motivated, but I never hit that point where it felt like I wasn’t “WORKING,” where it was fun, like writing is for me. To me, writing, the actual writing is fun, the planning wasn’t. Not until now.
I figured out that I’m what is referred to as a loose outliner, which means I don’t outline every single scene, but I do outline the beginning, middle, and end, some of the main parts (which would be defined as those seven beats that are so important to your novel, or the moments like the inciting incident, the B-Story, All is Lost, and Showdown, or the moments that some refer to as conflict moments). I usually wrote something short and sweet for each chapter like: MC meets ___ & finds ___, or MC loses ___, Bad Guy shows up and MC freaks/confronts/plans, or Betrayal by the last person MC expects, or ___ helps/saves ___ and turns out not to be a bad guy afterall…. in the index card on the corkboard for each chapter so that I knew that those scenes needed to follow that path. However, I didn’t specify anything for each scene, or when I did it usually ended up changing.
However, now that I am outlining with the Hero’s Journey, and Tarot, using an eCourse from Arwen Lynch, I am literally having a blast, my outlining is going so well, and I’m being bombarded with real ideas, good ideas, and those ideas are detailed. My Muse is so happy she’s doing the Happy Dance. 😀 You don’t know how happy this makes me. I’ve found my outlining GROOVE.
I signed up for Arwen Lynch’s 33 Days to Finishing your Novel, best $33 I’ve spent. She uses the hero’s journey and tarot cards to help you get through the outlining process. So far I’m having a blast with it. I’ve changed up the labels on my corkboard in Scrivener to accomodate the changes since I’m now using the Hero’s Journey. I’m also reading Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey, and Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Not sure I’ll finish both books this month, but I’m giving it a good try.
I’ve also invested in a Noodler’s Heart of Darkness Ink, which came with two Noodler’s fountain pens. After some adjustments (heating method) to one of the pens they are both working beautifully now. I love fountain pens and Tomoe Paper. I love journals. I love handwriting some of my novel–it really helps me get into the zone. And I also love personal journaling. I keep a writer’s journal, a personal journal, and an art journal–thank goodness for my Jonelifish TN’s (Traveler’s Notebooks), which house my Moleskin, SevenSeas, and Fabriano notebooks/inserts. I’m also a big fan of my custom handmade cloth Snoopy is Writing Journal cover and pen case.
I’m taking the fountain pen journey slow, as a friend of mine who is also a writer and a fountain pen lover suggested. The idea of spending a $100 or more on a pen seems ludicras to me but they sure are pretty–I’ll stick with my Platinum Preppy’s and my Noodler’s fountain pens for now.
Now about the outlining… I just can’t say enough positive things about Arwen’s eCourse. I’m a fan of creativity, and have tried outlining with the book The Storyteller’s Tarot by Linda Perfect, and though it’s a good book it’s just didn’t light the spark of creativity the way that Arwen’s course has done. So I’m thinking it’s the combination of the hero’s journey, which we as most know is the basis of how most Disney movie’s are outlined, as well as other movies like Star Wars, Jaws, The Whizard of Oz–you can also find the hero’s journey in mythology. It’s something we’ve grown up. The Hero and all the things he has to go through in order to fight the good fight, win the war, get the girl/guy, save the day, etc.
I’ve been so into this course that while I was outlining the first chapter and the scenes I got into the “outlining zone” and completely forget I was supposed to meet some writer friends in the #writestuff tweet chat Tuesday night at 9PM and didn’t remember until 9:38PM so I missed most of the chat about endings. Me–Miss Loose Outlininer, Miss mostly a Pantser got into the “outlining zone.”
Needless to say, I’m pumped about this upcoming NaNoWriMo, my outlining, and I’ve even started walking 1 mile every day again so I can get in better shape, lose weight, and to keep my creative juices flowing and my muse happy. I think about my book while I walk most days, so it really helps me work things out in my head.
One month to go and it’s NaNoWriMo time!!!
I’ve particpated in quite a few NaNoWriMo’s. With each NaNoWriMo I’ve learned something new. I’ve learned what doesn’t work for me, as well as what does. I’ve also learned that I need an unlimited supply of some type of coffee, whether it’s hot or cold. I also need snacks, healthy and non-healthy. And I also have to exercise–get out of the chair and away from my desk and move around.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned though is that I am not a hardcore outliner, at least not using the “plot” method of ouline. I’ve tried Save the Cat, the Marshall Plan, using beat sheets, spread sheets, index cards, a storyboard (on paper, in Scrivener, and on my wall), and too many other methods to list. I’m not a plot based writer. I’m a character based writer. I’m also more of a loose outliner. I need to leave some things to my imagination–I need to pants a few things so that I don’t get bored, so that I feel the creativite juices stirring and my muse is inspired.
The Hero’s Journey is more or less about the main character (or the hero’s) journey, which seems perfect for the way I write. I toyed around with using the Hero’s Journey and a Plot Method (or three) together, trying to merge the two, and that didn’t work out so well for me. I decided to try just using the Hero’s Journey to write my novel for NaNoWriMo this November. I went so far as to purchase Arwen Lynch’s 33 Days to Finish Your Book (outlining using the hero’s journey and tarot) eCourse. I’m on the third day and loving it so far.