Tuesday, October 20, 2009

HELP FOR THE HERO Grandmother Gives Me Some Advice, Tears of a Clown, and Halloween: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Hi Allyson,

Chapter headings do herald the coming events, and whet the appetite of readers. Just from the title of the next chapter, readers wonder what advice Grandmother will give Junior--and they'll read to find out.

Joseph Campbell's Hero’s Journey follows the step referred to as "The Road of Trials" with a step known as "The Meeting with the Goddess." Junior, taunted and bullied, has been through a “Road of Trials,” which resulted in his hauling off and slugging Roger in the face. Then Junior confronts a dilemma: what next? What can he expect the next time he sees Roger?

I think of Junior’s conversation with his grandmother as a kind of “meeting with the Goddess,” since his grandmother represents wisdom and unconditional love. His grandmother provides the answer: “They’re going to respect you now.” She’s right. They do. At least, the guys do. It takes longer for the girls--even by the end of “Halloween,” two chapters later, Junior is still isolated by the girls: “I was still a stranger in a strange land.”

Story Sleuths Tip #8: Adult characters can assist your protagonist, and can offer advice and wisdom, so long as the main character stays directly involved in the action.

Over to you, Allyson.