Wednesday, November 16, 2011

VP4W 11 Chooses Her Light

The Virgin's Promise for Writers

Stories are fundamentally about choices and consequences. There are, of course, highly praised and elegantly wrought novels that show the meaninglessness of existence, but the vast majority of stories are about people who choose and do--even if it is a mistake. One common way to talk about story structure is in terms of try-fail cycles.

The eleventh phase of the Virgin's Promise, Chooses Her Light, is the point where the Virgin chooses to let the light of her true self shine and acts accordingly. Kim Hudson*puts it this way:
"[T]he Virgin decides to trust herself and pursue her dream or passion, whatever happens. This is the last stage of her transformation and a joyous climax to her story. She would rather shine than be safe or maintain order."
Because of the Chaos in the Kingdom, she was banished to Wander in the Wilderness until she repented by the forces trying to restore order to the Dependent World. Choosing Her Light is neither capitulating nor giving up. It is the moment in which the Virgin transcends her Dependent World, and in so doing gains the power to act and not be acted upon. As Hudson explains:
"The choice the Virgin makes when she Chooses Her Light is a clear action toward her dream. ... Some tangible, finite goal is reached. This is the third and final stage of changing a belief. It is important that the decision to pursue her dream and be true to herself is an identifiable action made by the Virgin."
It is critical that the Virgin acts for herself--that she is the prime mover in this phase. Even if her actions place her in danger and she needs help, she's the one moving everything forward. Hudson warns against the temptation to have a hero step in and save the day:
"In some cases, after the Virgin chooses her dream, her action precipitates danger and she is rescued. Never does she need to be rescued, then choose to love her rescuer as fulfillment of the Chooses Her Light beat. This would be a major step backwards into another Dependent World."
The core of the transformation that comes with Chooses Her Light is that the Virgin finally harnesses and harmonizes her inner desires and outward actions in order to realize her dream.

Hudson characterizes the way in which the Virgin introduces her true form to the kingdom with the metaphor of going to ball as a radiant beauty. For writers, the opportunities to stand out in our respective kingdoms in all our authorial splendor are few and far between. It's nearly impossible to come out as a writer as a prelude to living happily ever after because no matter how lovely last night's ball might have been, there's always a blank page awaiting you in the cold light of dawn.

It is the choosing that resonates most strongly with the writer's experience: after wandering in our own personal wildernesses, we choose our light as writers and take clear and concrete action to move toward our dreams--the clearest and most concrete of which is to put our words down on the page, and then to do it again tomorrow.

* Kim Hudson, The Virgin's Promise

Image: Simon Howden /

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