I woke up this morning and went straight to my manuscript. I had a bad dream, but it made me think of a scene for my story and I didn’t want to miss it. It has been foggy and cold the last few days, so I decided to have a fire in the fireplace. The neighbor’s cat came over to see what I was up to and cuddled with me as I typed for a bit. Gotta say, it has been a great morning.
I’ve already done my morning pages and have half my words for today!! And it’s a good thing too because I have found a major distraction in my fireplace inspired by the high shutter speed photos I took. I could honestly just feed that fire and take pictures all day. But then I selected a couple to illustrate this post and they reminded me of my bokeh filters. I can’t believe I never tried bokeh with fire.
It’s challenging. I’m going to have to play around with my camera setting a lot more. I may need to add some Christmas lights to the front of the fireplace to get some unblurred shapes or shine a light into the fireplace so I can use lower ISO settings, but a new palette has emerged and I’m excited.
A new idea by Maria L. Berg bokeh in fire.
As you may have guessed fire is my mentor today. That would mean I see my mentor as a muse, a giver of creative ideas, a non-corporeal entity. However, the mentor can be many things. I found a good post at Thought Co. The Hero’s Journey: Meeting with the Mentor
The article mentions Jung, so I thought great, I’ll just grab my copy of The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious and Man and His Symbols, look up mentor in the Index and soon have a complete understanding. No such luck. The word “mentor” wasn’t indexed in either one. Since I have already been distracted by photography today and did not feel like reading hundred of pages to figure out why “mentor” wasn’t index and yet “menstrual blood” was in both. I let that idea go.
The mentor is usually an older, wiser person who helps your hero get past the refusal and get on with the adventure. Thinking about that this morning, I easily came up with a mentor for my detective: her father (memories of) and an instructor from the police academy. I also easily came up with a mentor for my antagonist: an imaginary guide he calls “the oracle” who is actually his memories of his older brother who always looked out for him when he was a kid. But I’m not sure who my protagonist’s mentor is.
He doesn’t for long lasting relationships and is always hiding his true self. Who would he turn to for advice. He wants to direct movies, so maybe he would turn to the films of his favorite director for advice. Or watch interviews with his favorite director. Maybe he would just go see a movie or read a book his favorite director wrote. I like this idea because it parallels or mirrors the imaginary world of the antagonist’s mental state. They both think they are perfectly sane, but neither really relates to the real world.
It must have rained recently. The damp earth held the car and foot traffic of the recent invasion. He looked where he had been walking and realized his unique treads were now here too. He began scuffing his feet over his tracks. Why did he feel like a suspect? He had every right to be here.
Today’s Simple Task
Raise another question for your MC to answer.
I was inspired by a local news story to bring arson into my story, so I think I’ve already done this. I’ll sketch out how I think that story line will go and how my protagonist will react to it. Also, where those scenes should go.
Set your timer for 10 minutes. Your MC receives an unexpected package. What does he do with it? Does he open it? What’s inside? – inspired by Kaori Leosarka (NaNo poster)
This could be very intriguing as my protagonist doesn’t think anyone but the police know he’s in town. Receiving a package to his motel could be very interesting.
Another good exercise for the mentor
Think of who your mentors have been. Writer about each one for five minutes. Can you pick out any traits or actions they have in common? You may want to incorporate these things into your character.
Word Of The Day
petrichor: n. a distinctive scent, usually described as earthy, pleasant, or sweet, produced by rainfall on very dry ground.
He breathed deeply. The petrichor excited his senses.
8 Action Verbs:
He adapted best he could, but he knew he would never fit in.
He cataloged every bird, plant and animal by smell and sound, Kirk began to wonder if he did that with the people he encountered as well. He would go back to the journal and test his theory.
No one controlled their tempers anymore. Every discussion was a rage-fest.
She was well educated, he could tell, but she also appeared to have already made up her mind.
He felt handled, like they wanted him to know they were in control.
He maintained that he had no idea what she was talking about, nor who the victim could be.
She prosecuted her line of questioning. She could tell she had hit a nerve.
She showed him a series of pictures. They were head shots of women. At first he couldn’t figure out why, but then he saw her.
Awesome Sentence Challenge
Try sentences with these three different types of Verb phrases:
- Add two or more finite verbs together: verb+conjunction+verb
- Add a finite verb and an adverb: verb+adverb
- Add auxiliary verbs to the main verb: auxiliary verb+main verb
It would have been nice if I had given some examples on this one back in 2017. It’s not incredibly clear to me, but building on the two word, specific noun + specific verb exercise, I’m going to work on some sentences of specific noun + verb phrase, so let’s see what we’ve got:
- Kirk smiled and waved.
- Oren cackled wildly.
- Shawna was excited.
Okay. I think that’s right, so let’s try again with something about my protagonist and his mentor.
- He found the file and clicked play.
- He watched carefully.
- He was looking for something new that he hadn’t paid attention to before.
Those got more complicated than I meant them to. I wanted to stick to the simple forms, so I’ll try again:
- Kirk watched and listened.
- Ida Lupino never wavered.
- His resistance was abating.
I think I’ve got it. I like a beautiful, complicated sentence, so working on strong, short sentences is good for me. I hope I’ll have more of an arsenal of variety as I continue to work on these prompts.
In those sentences, because I did the tarot part first, I figured out who his specific mentor is. That’s awesome. Now I’m ready to write my scene.
Mapping the Hero’s Journey:
The mentor card: Queen of coins
How the hero sees the mentor at first: Justice
Most important lesson the hero will learn from the mentor: Knight of cups
My interpretation: If I go with my idea that my protagonist’s mentor might be a director, I’ll do a little research and see which director I think would be represented by the Queen of coins. Perhaps he likes this director because she fought through to the top of a male dominated field, or maybe she had to fight hard to get her movie made and when it became famous, it launched a great career and felt like justice. What he takes away from studying this director is to keep his drive and emotions in check and act subtly as he faces this challenge.
I hope you find some inspiration in these exercises. See you tomorrow.