Why doesn’t everyone in the world want to do what I do?
I even ask myself, “Jeeeea-nneeee! What took you so long to get the girl-story thing going ON?”
(fear in its many forms held me up)
<sigh> The heroic journey of coming into one’s own takes the time it takes. But like a good hero in a good story I have persevered… and overcome… and I return to you now with a boon to share!
I am actively sharing what I love about story. With my group of girl “Ruby Stars”. And they ARE stars when it comes to story. As soon as they began to get the gist of The Hero’s Journey story structure they asked,
“Can we make a girl like you made Ruby?”
(that was them handing me the “magical equipment” I would need for my journey)
And so we began the creation of their girls.
They enter their imaginations…
They are eager to create a great girl so they can put her through the twisty-turny paces a good hero goes through.
I know they get how a good story needs to go when they say things like,
“But I’m going to make her go through a little more before I give her a happy life.”
I give them things to consider:
- What might your girl CARE ABOUT
- What might her DREAM in life be
- What kind of a character flaw or BLIND SPOT might she have (you know, what does she need to learn in her life)
- What kind of a PROBLEM can you give her to deal with
- What kind of STRENGTHS will she have in order to face such a problem
As they think, they start talking NAMES. Of course. We go online and look up Lists of Baby Names in the country of their choice to come up with good ones.
Their girls are beginning to form.
To the drawing board! With Sharpies!
Let’s play with…
- What does she LOOK LIKE
- What is one thing she always WEARS
- Where does she LIVE
- What are her CIRCUMSTANCES
- WHO ELSE is in her world – family, friends, pets
- What does she LOVE
Drawing. Talking. Sharing. Ideas float and fly around the room. Sticking, disappearing, rearranging. They are fluid.
They are generous with each other: “Oh, I like that idea! You know what else you could have her do? She could…”
Their girls are getting a look and a life.
I send them home with,
“Keep working on story.”
When I see them again I delight to see the individual ways they have explored their girl and her story.
We go further, get clearer.
- What is her “Call to Adventure” (you know, what happens to bring a big change into her life)?
- What is her ordinary everyday life like BEFORE her “Call to Adventure”?
- How does she respond to the Call?
- What are some things that might happen AFTER this Call disrupts her everyday life?
Of course it’s a lot to consider.
“I don’t know what my girl’s problem is yet.”
But they know how to trust that the right ideas will come… and change as needed.
Me: “Did you tell me her age yet?”
Ila (age 9): “Let’s throw it out… 13.”
They tell me which writing exercises they want to do to find out more about their girl and her journey.
“Can we do the one where we draw their heads and write what their special conversation is?”
“Can we draw one scene that tells an important moment?”
“Can we write without stopping for 10 minutes and then read it?”
“Can we write or draw things she loves?”
Jeanne & Ruby