Thursday, October 16, 2014
Strategy # 4 Hungry Territory: Journey
Build Your Story: 8 Strategies for Writing Innovative Setting with Impact
Territory as Journey
In addition to the close-up possibilities we also need to step back and take an overview. Think in terms of a lens camera on zoom. We go from the tight shot to the distance shot.
A chef stands back a little to look at his masterpiece entrée. A quilter needs to move far back in order to see the whole when completed. One way to take a different angle view of territory can be as a journey regardless of distance.
We can turn to the rich history found in myths and their geography, which can be mined for today’s stories because their emotional truths still apply despite the change in civilizations. In his book, Realms of Gold, Leland Ryken comments on myth’s enduring qualities in one famous journey.
“During his wanderings, Odysseus encounters approximately what anyone taking a journey away from home would encounter today: violence, sexual temptation, drugs (the island of the lotus eaters), the occult, physical danger, death, lost luggage, homesickness, getting lost, culture shock (for example, the overnight in the Cyclops cave and the spectacle of Odysseus’ seeing his fellow sailors transformed into animals as he arrive at Circe’s house), hospitality, the impulse to give up, inadequate transportation, a lost passport (Odysseus arrives stark naked and without identity at Phaiacia), and personal conflict with fellow travelers.”
Sometimes we go on a journey and experience the unexpected. It can happen through our travel plans where nothing is as it should be, or was promised, or is even there anymore. It can happen in familiar territory like a walk around the block where suddenly we see an incident that impacts our lives and gives us an epiphany. We start off in one direction but when we come to the end we find we are different. The journey has changed us within. So regardless of genre, we almost have an internal radar to all journey stories, whether of quest or immigration or exile or discovery or mystery, and regardless of distance.
Share: What is your favorite childhood story that involved a journey?
Read deep, marcy