Plenary Session: Susan Wiggs and the Writer’s Journey

Presented by Susan Wiggs.

Here are the 12 steps to being a writer, presented as a form of the Hero’s Journey.  I mentioned it in an earlier post, and have had a chance to write it up now.

She also made the point that while it is nice to have a career as a writer and lots of readers, sometimes the work of writing has to be its own reward.

Step 1:  The Heroine (the writer) is in her normal world

  • possesses a great imagination

Step 2: Call to Adventure

  • there is a specific catalyst for the heroine to start on the writing path
  • decide how badly you have to write
  • check ‘Writing Fiction’ by Janet Burroway

Step 3:  The Reluctant Heroine

  • may not want to write
  • there are always reasons not to

Step 4:  Wise Old Man

  • there is always something new to learn
  • be the best writer you can be

Step 5:  Into the Special World

  • going to conferences
  • being part of a critique group
  • joining local RWA chapter

Step 6:  Allies and Enemies

  • Agent appointment
  • accepting rejection
  • cultivate group who support and respect what you do
  • write from your heart – love, anger fear -> true emotion

Step 7:  Innermost Cave

  • no right or wrong way to write a book
  • the best way to write is the one that gets the book written

Step 8.  Supreme Ordeal

  • sending the book to editors and agents
  • editors and agents do want to find new talent

Step 9:  Seizing the Sword

  • start writing!

Step 10:  The Road Back

  • no new plots
  • retell one of the plots in your own unique voice

Step 11:  Resurrection

  • the final exam – be ready when opportunities are presented to you

Step 12:  The Magical Elixir

  • there is no age limit to starting

3 thoughts on “Plenary Session: Susan Wiggs and the Writer’s Journey

  1. well I don’t have any notes for number 9, but I do remember her saying it is obvious. I checked her website to see if anything was there, but couldn’t see anything.

    so, I guess it means: Write!

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