Okay, guys, here we are again with a new post on how to tell your story by way of a novel. Today we’re discussing the next step in your literary journey, Meeting the Mentor. If you recall in my last posting on this subject, I asked you to try and determine when it was that Luke Skywalker met this character.
I think it is obvious Luke’s mentor is Obi Wan Kanobi, his uncle if memory serves. Luke meets Obi Wan when he saves the young boy from an attack by the sand people. Soon after Obi Wan reviews the message from Princess Leia, he starts talking to Luke about “The Force.”
Okay, again the question rises, “So what?” Why does our hero need to connect with a mentor? Can’t he just go on his journey and get things done? He could, but how much of your novel will be needed to “teach” your hero what he needs to know? The Mentor speeds this process by offering your hero information he cannot get on his own. The Mentor provides knowledge, motivation and training.
One of the first things Obi Wan gives Luke is knowledge of The Force. (How important is this bit of information to the story?) You simply don’t have the word count available to give your hero all the knowledge he requires if he is forced to learn it on his own. It must come in quick bursts. Thus the need for a mentor arises.
How about training for Luke? It was Obi Wan who introduces Yoda to Luke. Although your story does not need formal training as we see in this story, but some sort of enlightenment for your hero is required. If you remember, our hero has already refused the Call to Adventure and needs someone to move his along his path. He needs inspiration and this, too, is the job of your mentor.
In general, your mentor arrives early but can arrive later if it fits your storyline. Can your hero have more than one mentor? Sure, Like had Obi Wan and Yoda, for example. We’ll discuss more about additional mentors, called “allies” in a later posting.
So, here we are. We’ve our hero in his Ordinary World which is disrupted by the Call to Adventure. His normal response is a Refusal of the Call, but then he Meets The Mentor and everything is about to change.
What do you think must happen next in your story? He must take the first step on his adventure by Crossing the Threshold!
When does Luke Cross his Threshold?
Until my next posting, good writing.