Wednesday, July 27, 2011

HJ4W 9 The Reward

Writing Wednesday - The Hero's Journey for Writers

While I continue to hope there's a special ring of Hell reserved for public school coaches who say, "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger," the hero's journey provides the kernel of truth to that old saw. Having faced the Crisis, and lived to tell the tale, the hero now knows the real nature of their antagonist.

Kim Hudson* describes the Reward as follows:
"The hero gains inspiration and information from the Crisis that gives him the edge when he again faces evil. He has a renewed drive to ensure that evil no longer threatens the safety of his village. The hero grabs the sword, the potion, the hostage, the information, or his new self-realization as his Reward, and takes a moment to celebrate."
Knowledge and empowerment are the key outcomes of this phase. The hero now finally understands the scope of the threat and what's truly at stake. Often, the hero has also managed to acquire something that will prove critical in the final confrontation. For example, when Luke and Han blast their way out of the Death Star, they have the plans (in R2D2) and the means (Leia and her connection with the rebellion) to destroy the Empire's ultimate weapon.

The writers who complete their own hero's journey emerge from the ordeal of rejection with the knowledge that it won't stop them. As painful as it may be, a rejection is only one person's reaction and not the final, game-ending buzzer.

Often, among the debris of rejection, we find nuggets of information that light the way to a stronger revision. It's hard, but if we accept that what we sent out the first time wasn't perfect, the combination of the feedback we've received and the passage of time that allows us to approach the manuscript with fresh eyes, gives us insight into things we may improve.

And most important of all, now you understand the true nature of the conflict and what it will take to see it through to the Final Battle.

* Kim Hudson, The Virgin's Promise


Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net