Welcome to the “Write Your Own Heroine’s Quest” Course. Please watch the introductory video below and see pre-work resources below the vid. (PLEASE NOTE You can start this course at ANY TIME)
Thank you for joining us for this fun course of self-discovery! Please work through the below lessons IN ORDER and please contact me if you have any questions/comments/or feedback at any time. Dr.Cutts@nicolecutts.com or find me on Facebook at Vision Quest Retreats with Dr. Nicole Cutts.
Strongly Suggested Reading & Pre-Work:
1) Download and Read my FREE White Paper: Vision Realization Continuum
2) Read this article on Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth/Hero’s Journey
3) Read “The Adventures of Isabelle Book I: The Embryo Goddess and the Morpho” (softcover) or Adventures of Isabelle on Amazon Kindle (e-book) AND the recently published, Book II: Journey to Orphalese!
4) Watch my TEDx Talk: The Heroine’s Quest: Heed The Call to Adventure! | Nicole Cutts
4) Watch the movie Finding Joe (an inspirational movie that takes you on the ultimate hero’s journey: the journey of self-discovery. As you slay dragons and uncover treasures, you just may find that the holy grail you seek is closer than you think.)
5) Read The Heroine’s Journey by Maureen Murdock (not required but strongly suggested reading)
*Want a FREE Sample of The Adventures of Isabelle Book I? Click Chapter I Excerpt
If at any time you have any questions about the pre-work or the course please feel free to email me at Dr.Cutts@nicolecutts.com or at any of my social media sites below.
Lesson 1: Character Sketches
Hopefully by now you have completed the above pre-work. (The rest of the course will make a lot more sense if you have.) This first lesson is fairly easy. Think of the people in your life who have had a great impact on you and played pivotal roles in your story. Use the Hero’s Journey/Monomyth as reference; looking for people who have been helpers, mentors and even dragons. Think of events that shaped your life’s paths and recall the people that were involved. These people may be your parents, siblings, teachers, friends or spiritual guides.
Next… just write a list of these people (no big deal, just write their names down) You may already have character names for them or they might just still have their real names.
Next…Answer the following questions about each of your characters in your journal, on your legal pad, PC or whatever you use to write. A) What does he/she look like physically? B) How would you describe his/her personality? C) In what ways did he/she shape your life (you don’t have to write out long stories here, just jot down notes)
Once you have done the above pat yourself on the back and get ready for lesson 2. If you haven’t completed all the pre-work this would be a great time to go back and do it!
Questions/Comments? Drop me a line at the places below.
Lesson 2: Plot Outline Journal Exercise
Welcome Back! Hopefully, by now you have completed the required pre-work and Lesson 1. This lesson involves plot development. Don’t worry you don’t have to write your whole plot in one sitting. This is a preparatory exercise or journal exercise (if you prefer). Return to this article on Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth/Hero’s Journey. Look specifically at eleven stages of the journey and their attendant narrative happenings (see below). Once you have reviewed them closely take each stage, one at a time and just write about any similarities or differences that you see in relation to your life and these narrative stages. Don’t worry if you don’t feel as if this is giving you your entire plot. This exercise is like gathering research from which you will later write your story. This exercise may take a few sittings so just take your time with it.
I. Departure Stages
1. The Call to Adventure, 2. Refusal of the Call, 3. Supernatural Aid, 4. Crossing the Threshold, 5. Belly of the Whale
II. Initiation Stages
6. The Road of Trials, 7. The Meeting with the Goddess, 8. Woman/Man as Temptress, 9. Atonement with the Father, 10. Apotheosis, 11. The Ultimate Boon
If you have ANY questions or comments feel free to drop me a line at any of the places at the end of this post.
Lesson 3: Write a Draft Intro to Your Story
Welcome Back! Hopefully, by now you have completed the required pre-work and Lessons 1 and 2. I also hope you are enjoying the course thus far and uncovering some valuable insights about yourself and your life as a heroine’s quest. Feel free to share any insights, reactions, comments or questions with me other members of the Vision Quest Retreats Tribe on Facebook or in the comments for this blog.
In this lesson, you will be writing a draft of your introduction to your story or taking a stab at your first chapter (whichever appeals to you more). It might be a good time to remind you that this is more of a course of self discover and less of a writing course. In other words, don’t stress about the writing aspect. Just let that flow.
Start out by writing the story of your origins. You may want to start with your birth story or your earliest memory. This is a creative process so there are no real rules. If you want to read a model download excerpt from Chapter I of The Adventures of Isabelle Book I.
Write as much or as little as you need to in order to feel that you have a ROUGH draft. Don’t worry about trying to hook your reader or introduce all the major themes and characters yet. This is an exercise that will give you fodder for your story later (should you choose to write a story for others to read) but for now, this is for YOU so just sit there and WRITE. If you feel you need more direction give a shout and I will come running.
After you complete the above exercise just kick back and congratulate yourself and rest up for the next installment.
Lesson 4: Write a First Draft of Your Story
Welcome back to the fifth and final installment of this course. I hope you have been getting a lot out of it thus far! Today you start writing your story. We don’t expect you to finish it all in one day, but today is when you sit down to write. You can do this in a journal, with a word processor or if you are a hipster, with a typewriter! I wrote my first draft of Book I of The Adventures of Isabelle long hand on a legal pad and loose leaf paper. I found it helped me to flow faster and better than typing, but by the time I was writing book II I was typing on my laptop because it saved time. Whenever I got stuck though I often went back to long hand to get my juices flowing. Again this is your creative process so do what makes sense for you!
To get started you may want to re-read your intro and just pick up where you left off. Since the story is based on your actual life devising the plot and new characters should pose no problem. This isn’t to say that you can’t add characters and plot points from your imagination. This is like writing your own mythology so whatever makes sense to advance your heroine’s quest should enter your story. There are many examples of this in my tale i.e. the enchanted cuirass that appears in Chapter II of Book I. You will have your own unique elements and characters and narrative. The point is to let it flow keeping in mind that you are viewing your “ordinary life” through the extraordinary lense of the heroine’s quest.
How long should your story be? As long or as short as it needs to be to tell your life story in the context of the awesome mission that you are on. Where does it end? Good question. It’s up to you! If you want to end your story with your plot mirroring your real life to date that’s groovy. If you want to write your own fabulous fairy tale ending…GO FOR IT! I chose to end book I after Princess Isabelle’s formative years, and the attendant adventures she had and right after her major call to adventure which launches her into Book II. Book III is writing itself as I live, grow and experience my amazing life!
Ok, so the above should be enough to get you started on the first draft. If you are doing this as the course is intended, for self discovery you can revise if it makes sense for you. If you plan to turn this into a book for sale revising and editing is a must. If you have questions on this or any aspect of the course please reach out via any of the below links.
Are you a Woman Business Owner? You may want to check out Women Owned Business Wednesdays on Facebook.