More Advice, Please

Some of you may know that I’m a plotter. Maybe even to the extreme. But I’ve been having many problems with my current WIP, “Murder By Magic.”

In my plotting I tend to follow a combination of Vogler’s “The Writer’s Journey” and Brooks’s “Story Engineering.” What I’m currently having issues with is the “Crossing The Threshold” portion.

My heroine developed Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy as a child. She has been self-exiled from her family from several years and now makes Luxor her home. She’s an Egyptologist, and while on a dig she gets caught up in the middle of a terrorist event and ends up being shot in the head. Because of the epilepsy, the doctors decide to keep her in a medical coma.

When she’s finally woken up, she’s back at home in the care of her childhood neurologist and his team.

Now, a couple of things are bothering me – does it “count” as Crossing The Threshold if:

     a.) She didn’t consciously choose it, and

     b.) She’s already been there before, and it had actually been her home all her life, except for the past three or four years..

Any and all advice, as always, will be gratefully welcomed.



6 thoughts on “More Advice, Please

  1. I’d say it counts. What you might want to do is to have her use the time she’s laid up to come up with a decision on what she’s going to do when she’s healthy again, and maybe get some information that pushes her over the threshold. Which threshold is this one, the first or second?

  2. “Crossing the threshold” may really mean coming into a totally new environment — mentally and emotionally as well as physically. How will her awakening be shaped transformed by her experiences (dark and light) on these levels? How will she be transformed by awakening into this new/old world? Even if she didn’t consciously choose where she is, she remains the heroine. Is she ready to cross the threshold into a new understanding of herself? You can probably tell I’m more of an intuitive writer than a plotter . . . but I do work on sequencing quite a bit. Interesting post.

    • Morning, Beth. Well, Hayleigh will be mentally and emotionally challenged, for sure. I’m really glad you clarified that; it makes my life much easier.

      (Now, if only the caffeine would kick in…)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I haven’t read either of the books you mentioned, but I’m thinking maybe “crossing the threshold” is what James Scott Bell would call the first doorway–the moment that there’s no turning back for the protagonist, even if he/she wanted to. The first doorway leads from act one to act two.

    So I guess it depends. Is this a point of no return for her? What does returning home signify for her psychologically or emotionally? What’s at stake for her? (Note that I’m approaching this from a three-act structure perspective, and I don’t know if your story is following this structure or not.)

    Good luck! Love the title, “Murder by Magic,” by the way.

    • Morning, Denise. Yes, it’s a Rubicon moment. Hayleigh can’t go back. Her dig has been closed and her boss, due to the unrest, is shipping artifacts out of Egypt to keep them safe. Returning home will either break her permanently, or if she faces her fears, will give her everything she wants but has denied herself for so long.

      I’m really glad you came by. I need all the perspective I can get. I’m glad you like the title. The antagonist thought her daughter had been murdered by magic. She tries the same, but it backfires during a ritual and kills the high priestess of the coven, which puts Hayleigh in charge. Oops…she’d been trying for Hayleigh…

      Enjoy your day!

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