Write Anywhere #4

The last week has been really crazy. Artist Daughter got married. We don’t have any relatives that live in town, so I visited the airport six times in three days.

Write Anywhere #4: The Airport

You need to know where you're going before you get there

I snagged some writing time while waiting for a flight to arrive and practiced capturing bits of dialogue and description and anything else that helped get my brain off overload.  Some snippets I wrote down:

  • A herd of impatient travellers playing with their phones
  • Old guy, plaid shorts with thin white knee socks, long sleeve shirt and denim baseball cap
  • Click-clack of stilettos on women in mini skirts of a certain age who should have given them up many years ago
  • “They said it’s on time, but it’s not here yet.”
  • “Do you copy? Do you copy?” on a security radio
  • Expressions at the arrival gate: confusion, relief, serious, romance found!
  • Worn red couches – Who sat here? Where were they going? Were they running from or running to something? Someone?

We’re all on a journey. That is one of the most clichéd lines ever. But it’s true. Everyone is on a journey of some type: physical, spiritual, or emotional. Stories are journeys and people love a story that connects with parts of their own journey. People want to identify with the hero of a story. Heroes aren’t necessarily a crime fighter with a costume. They can be any ordinary man, woman or even fish whose journey and the obstacles they overcome make them a bit extraordinary.

Is there a journey in your story?

The structure of the hero’s journey can help you understand how to construct your novel to make the most of this inherent desire to connect. Check out these links on the hero’s journey:

Christopher Vogler and his classic outline of the Hero’s Journey here.

A wealth of quick video lessons on the Hero’s Journey in popular film here.

Larry Brooks gives the ultimate list on what you need to know about journey of your novel’s hero here.

I made it through my airport journeys, but realize I need to work on solidifying my heroine’s journey in my novel. At least I have an idea where I’m going. 🙂

Question: Do you think it’s important to work from a basic structure like the Hero’s Journey for a story or do you like to let the story find its own journey?




8 thoughts on “Write Anywhere #4

  1. Good post, Kristin. I, too, pay close attention to conversations, peoples’ mannerisms around me, never knowing when any of it might come in handy to develop a new character. As for the journey–when I begin a novel I know where my characters are going; that’s not to say they don’t lead me off onto some interesting, fun, dangerous side-roads at time to get there.


    • Thanks for stopping by, Gloria. I am always looking for the unusual or off-beat comment or action from people, and I am never disappointed. People are fascinating! Sometimes I have to get out of stalker-writer mode and get on with living life, but I have found a lot of interesting things to write about just by being present in the moment to capture what’s happening.
      Dangerous side roads with characters sounds fun!


  2. Hey Kristin, I just found your blog. This is a great post. Very observant. We need to get together soon. And remind me to tell you the very embarrassing thing my granddaughter said in the bathroom at the aquarium. How’s your writing going?


    • Hi Vickie! Thanks so much for visiting my blog and your encouragement. Little ones say the funniest things. I am looking forward to hearing lots of grandchild-isms, oldest daughter is due with her first in about two weeks. Writing is going good, lots of learning, but I enjoy it so much.


  3. Good post Kristin! You’re a very gifted writer with poetry in your words. As for your question, my characters seem to find their own journey. I’d like to use a set form, and CV is wonderful! I just don’t seem to be able to do that. Wish I could.
    jackie king


    • Thanks Jackie! I am very intrigued by the Hero’s Journey outline and I tend to want to ‘cover all the bases’ but still let the characters breathe enough to tell me things I haven’t discovered about them yet. I guess that is the balancing act.


  4. Hello, Kristin. I write mostly by method acting the characters of the book. I use the Hero’s Journey as a basic guide, but kind of let the writing go where it will.


    • Hi Bob! Thank you for your comment. I am a mega-outline kind of person and I’m trying to ‘loosen up’ and go deeper into the characters. Method acting seems like a good way to go.


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