In my previous post, I stated there was a “None of The Above book” to read as part of my writing process. It’s usually a re-read or a go-to author. The objective is not to be inspired, or explore new territory. It’s chosen for the comfort zone, the steep-within the familiar to savor the known, the subtext, the hidden corners of story and world building. When I learned Bob Dugoni re-reads The Green Mile as part of his writing process it validated mine.
I haven’t picked a book yet because I just realized I was focusing more on the heroine’s story, but the hero has the more interesting role. This is the benefit of writing romance novels as there’s always two primary characters involved in the story concept. This means I’m not in a between-drafts place NOW because there are plot points to shift and research to do.
Our local library is in a transitional place so there’s not a lot of books on the shelves, and there is still no place or plan for a new library. However, they do have a great DVD selection and I chose some go-to movies to review. It’s not as easy to get into the subtext and hidden corners in a movie unless you’ve seen it enough times to know when to pause and review. Thankfully the technology of today lets us do that.
Failure to Launch is a 2006 movie with a stellar cast, and it’s all about the heroes journey. It’s also written and produced by men so I figure it’s good for research, and also great for laughs! So I watched it twice and took notes. Then I went online to read about it, including reviews.
I was soon caught in a webbit hole of research as I first read a 2010 Psychology Today article – Is Blaming Parents for Failure to Launch a Red Herring? Then a 2012 FORBES article – Failure to Launch: Adult Children Moving Back Home. “Failure to Launch” is a potential syndrome and there’s an organization now to coach young men off the couch and into independence.
Before I got too distracted with a variety of heroic challenges for my story, relating to the above articles, I reviewed the archetypes and in a section on “How Heroes are Harmful” my mind really started humming when I read:
Ancient heroes would often return after their journeys to marry and lead a mature life, imparting their hard-won wisdom to their people. Burke says the lack of portrayal of this part of the hero’s life in modern media leads to an “arrested adolescence” that “constantly avoids social responsibility and marital commitment.”
Ha! That’s what the Happily Ever After of a romance story is all about. The heroes claiming social responsibility and marital commitment to impart their hard-won wisdom to their people.
I guess that’s why romances are referred to as escapist fantasy stories!