23 October 2014

Awakening narratives

Over the last year or so I've started to notice a recurring narrative in some of the books I've read, one that I'm calling the awakening narrative.

The awakening narrative has at its core this story: protagonist (usually female) becomes aware, usually with help of one or more men, of innate spiritual/supernatural abilities that she had hitherto not suspected or had used in a sort of accidental way without understanding them fully. Over the course of the books (usually a trilogy) she learns more about her abilities and becomes one of the most powerful people around. Through the developmental of her talents, she becomes the key to some kind of huge change in her world, whether a shift in balance of good and evil or a complete paradigm shift or the revealing of hitherto obscured truths that change everyone's understanding of the world.

Examples of the awakening narrative:
  • The Touchstone trilogy by Andrea K. Host
  • The All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness
  • The Farseer trilogy by Robyn Hobb (male protagonist)
  • The Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones (currently at 7 books)
  • The Hot Damned series by Robyn Peterman

At this point I really don't have much to say about it except that I've noticed it's going on and that I'm really drawn to this narrative. It seems to parallel a kind of spiritual awakening a lot of people I know are having these days (including myself), and I'm excited by the possibilities it suggests.

On a more practical level for those of us who are writers, I think it's useful to pay attention to trends & know what's hot right now. This is hot right now! And I don't think it's going to go away anytime soon.

ROW80 Update 
"A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life."

Show up to writing 2-3 hours/day. Mostly on track. There have been a couple days when going with the flow has resulted in less writing. When I do write, I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing. I write blog posts (like this one), have finished a draft of a short story, and have possibly finished the final draft of a nonfiction piece, but lately I seem to be focusing on purging thoughts from my head. I'm writing a lot of crap in the hopes of stumbling across something good. It doesn't feel super satisfying, but I'm still proud of myself for continuing on with it.

Be an active ROW80 sponsor. On track. Checked in on my assigned group last Thursday & yesterday. Will do so again tomorrow. Submitted my guest inspirational post for the ROW80 blog on Friday. 

Read for fun. On track. Since last week's check-in, I finished reading Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb, a fantasy novel (first in the aforementioned Farseer trilogy) recommended to me by a recent Twitter acquaintance. It took a few pages for me to get into it, but once I did, the world stuck with me even after I read the last word on the last page, and I've kind of been sulking so I haven't started another book yet. I say sulking because I resent the story not letting me go at the end of the book and also because I can't really afford to buy the other two books right now even though I really, really want to. (What's that you say? The public library? What's that? Okay, you have a point.)

Continue posting twice a week on this blog. Posted once. Hmm. I guess if I'm going to keep this goal I need to come up with some kind of plan; it doesn't seem like posting twice is going to happen organically. For next week: decide whether to keep the 2x a week goal and if so, what the other post per week might be about.

How's it going with your writing? Have you read any books lately that fit the description of the awakening narrative? Are you writing an awakening narrative?

This is a blog hop! Click here to read other ROW80 participants' mid-week check-ins.


  1. I hadn't thought about it, but I guess there are a lot of books that fall under the "awakening narrative" category. I know that I've written at least one story that fits your description--and I have another one that sort of fits except she doesn't save the entire world, just the people around her. Have you compared this structure to the Hero and Heroine's journeys? I suspect there would be some overlap.

    Best of luck with your ROW80 goals!

    1. Denise - I'm sure you're right about the overlap with the hero(ine)'s journey. Specifically, though, I'm looking at the trend of the hero or heroine having some kind of supernatural or spiritual ability. Something beyond what science has proven. Now that I say that, I realize the original Star Wars trilogy would fit into that as well.

  2. Been the similar way with me. I have the plans and also the drive, but I am running short on time. Making time is hard when I do all the stuffs. I have a problem saying no sometimes. But, I am happy, just overloaded. I love the theatre and I love the writing too. It;s hard. Learning more balance and making it work, most days. :-)

    Chin up, as Charlotte the Spiders says. Write and get the fluffy out, and the good stuff will come. I believe in you. And your words have inspired and pushed me into being a better writer. Chin up, Dear, you make the world a fantastic place. Take it in your own pace! :-)

    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, Cindy! I do get frustrated from time to time that my level of energy and the number of hours in a day can't keep up with all my interests and desires. There are far too many things I want to do, and I don't know how to prioritize them. I want to - as you say - "do all the stuffs."