Archetypes And Editing Pictures – They Have Nothing In Common Except… by Susan Lute
…they are both about telling story.
Most writers are familiar with Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey. Readers too, though they don’t know it. I have a copy. The 2nd Edition. It’s pretty dog eared, but I’ve never read it from cover to cover. You can approach The Writer’s Journey in two ways – the “writer’s” journey, or the hero’s journey, which is how you build a story. Vogler talks about mapping the journey, stages of the journey, questioning the journey, and looking back on the journey. To me, that IS the “writer’s” journey.
It won’t surprise you at all that I take a personal view of this whole idea, but today I wanted to talk about the archetypes that accompany a writer, a reader, or the main character. Vogler suggests the archetypes are facets of the hero’s personality, that they become mirrors in a way, in the story, imagined or not, disguised as friend or foe, or characters living the story with the hero. I find this notion fascinating.
Every time we write a story, or retell a fairy tale, oral or written, a piece of the storyteller goes into the telling, even if the writer doesn’t think so. We write what we know, consciously or unconsciously, in my belief. So if Vogler is right, our friends – story or otherwise – are emanations of our own personalities. Let’s see.
There’s the Hero (for the purposes of this blog, interchangeable with heroine) “from a Greek root that means ‘to protect and to serve’.” The Mentor is the wise old man or woman. The Threshold Guardian presents obstacles on the road to adventure. The Herald “issues the challenge and announces the coming of significant change.” Shapeshifters “change appearance or mood”, keeping the hero off balance. Often this is the love interest. I find that tidbit interesting. The Shadow “represents the energy of the dark side”, and so much more we might not want to face in ourselves, or our characters. The Trickster mirrors mischief and the desire to change.
There’s another way to tell a story, and that is through photographs. I usually store my digital photos in a Kodak program, but the company recently sold and so last night I downloaded Picasa. I was up till midnight playing, editing, getting acquainted. Okay, one of the cool things Picasa does is turn most of my upside down pictures right side up. Thumbs up for that one.
Today I decided to take one photo and see how many ways I could tell a story with editing. You can tell me I’m barking up the wrong tree if you want, but if you can see the hero, the mentor, the herald…what story dies each photo tell?
Also, take a look at your life. Do you have archetypes numbered among your friends?
Posted on September 17, 2012, in General and tagged archetypes, change, Christopher Vogler, editing, hero, mentor, photographs, readers, See Jane Publish, shadow, shapeshifters, story, Susan Lute, The Writer's Journey, threshold guardian, trickster, writers. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.