Beyond the Door Blog Tour
What have I learned about the world from myth as a writer and a reader? Since writing Beyond the Door and The Peculiars I’ve been thinking about why myth matters. Over the next week I’ll be blogging in the U.S and U.K. about six things I’ve learned from mythic stories that have inspired me. Plus there will be fun giveaways and a post by cover artist Victo Ngai! Follow the thread…
Six Things I’ve Learned from Myth Part 2 (with a little help from Mr. Tolkien)
We are All More than Meets the Eye—
Reluctant heroes are at the heart of many ancient and contemporary mythic stories and fairytales. This isn’t surprising because they illustrate one of the greatest truths we so easily forget. We, every one of us, are more than we appear. Shall we make a list? Bilbo Baggins, Lucy Pevinse, Harry Pottery, Arthur, Faced with extraordinary situations we can be heroic, noble, self-sacrificing. Isn’t that what stories have been whispering to us for time out of time: you are more than others see, you can make a difference in the world, you with all your flaws, prejudices, inconsistencies are immensely valuable and have something unique to offer the world.
“Let’s have no more argument. I have chosen Mr. Baggins and that ought to be enough for all of you. If I say he is a Burglar, a Burglar he is, or will be when the time comes. There is a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself. You may (possibly) all live to thank me yet.” Tolkien, The Hobbit
We Can Fight Dragons and Win
All children know the world is full of dragons. What they to know is that sometimes they can be the hero who defeats the dragon. They (and we) need to be reminded that the dragon isn’t the end. Even though the path through the woods is dark, the story doesn’t end in despair. Like Timothy in Beyond the Door, we need to know that when the wolf is at the door, hot breathed and bloody clawed, we can be Wolfproof. Myth is tells us that the least expected person may be the hero.
“Fairy stories are more than true, not because they tell us there are dragons, but because they tell us they can be defeated.” G.K. Chesterton
Story is Transformation
We love stories of transformation selkies, shapeshifters, changlings, enchantments. Without change there is no story because story is not about plot. It’s about how events change people. The human heart is made for stories and the greatest satisfaction for a reader is the protagonist’s inner journey. We read to see how the conflicts, struggles, antagonists will transform the hero, because her story is our story too. Stories aren’t prescriptive, they’re transformative. They are acts of identification. In the best stories we identify with the protagonist’s struggles and something in us is changed by the end. The Hero’s journey is our journey.
As well as this wonderful guest post, I’ve a give away for 5 copies of Time out of Time. Entry via Rafflecopter below