Since the RWA Oz conf, I’ve been thinking on the stages of the Hero’s Journey, which Deb Dixon spoke about during her Friday workshop. She discussed Joseph Campbell’s famous Hero’s Journey, which has 12 different stages the protagonist/s must take during the course of a novel.
The first stage is the ”ORDINARY WORLD.” In this stage, the writer is supposed to show a glimpse of the world where the h/H starts the story. It’s supposed to give context for the story, establish a mundane/ordinary life, which can then be compared and contrasted to the new world (which begins in the “CALL TO ADVENTURE” section. The idea is to establish this ordinary world as quickly as possible, but apparently you can take as long as you want – lol! I think the taking as long as you want bit really only applies to Single Title.
But this got me thinking about the many category books I read and how more often than not there is NO or only a tinsy glimpse of the h/H’s ORDINARY WORLD.
In my New Voices entry, ONE ROGUE, ONE DAMSEL, I’ve completely missed out the heroine’s ordinary world. The first sentence of the story launches her straight out of her comfort zone but the reader doesn’t actually know then what her comfort zone (ORDINARY WORLD) is.
In the other wip, the first chap starts in the heroine’s ORDINARY WORLD (a mundane place she’s come back to after bad experiences overseas).
Both these stories are category novels aimed at Harlequin Mills & Boon, so what I’m interested in is how you see the ORDINARY WORLD applying in short category novels.
Do you think setting up an ORDINARY WORLD only to wretch the hero or heroine straight out of it is necessary or do you think slightly different rules apply in category?!
Have I made any sense at all!?
If you know anything about Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, I’d love your thoughts on how it fits category romance!!
On another issue all together, how fun is the New Voices contest? I’m surprised that they’ve only got 250-ish entries at the moment. I thought there’d be a lot more but am wondering if some people will upload at the very last minute so they don’t have to subject themselves to public comment? Will be interesting to see how the contest pans out. There’s plenty of really fabulous entries up there so far but I’m never one to second guess what an editor likes, so I reckon, it’s anyone’s game!!!