On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Character Arc - Vogler - Joseph Campbell

I recently read (gobbled down) two historical action-adventure books in a series and woke up this morning knowing that I wouldn't continue with the series right now. Naturally, the first thought was of the author and how I'd feel if I knew someone had decided to do that with me (and I know there are people out there, the series didn't grab them). Then, me being me, a person who defines herself first as a writer, I analyzed why I didn't want to go on.

I decided that the character arc of the main character was lacking in the kind of growth I like to read about and the action-adventure wasn't rivetting enough to keep me reading...and I admit that I read the teaser of the back of the book for the next and decided that in the set-up the hero was making a big mistake, so that made me feel impatient and less sympathetic to him.

I am a firm believer in the archetypal story arc that Joseph Campbell set out in his Hero of a Thousand Faces and Christopher Vogler refined for writers in The Writer's Journey. If a book misses several of these "beats" or steps, then I am dissatisfied. That's what this series did for me. I think I may go back to it, eventually, but not right now. I feel no urge to gobble.

I also believe that it is always good to stretch your reading habits and these books did do that for me, so that was important too, and I thank the author for that.

May you keep an open mind.


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