One of the great traditions in literature is for the hero to descend into a dark place and be forced to confront some form of death. It's often a very powerful moment in a story where the hero learns something about himself or others that enables the quest to ultimately be achieved.
You know many examples from pop culture:
- Luke Skywalker and the Dark Force cave on Degobah
- Tony Stark's dream of the dead Avengers in Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Semba's experience in the ravine where Mufasa dies in The Lion King
- Dori and Marlin traveling through the jellyfish trench in Finding Nemo
- Indiana Jones getting sealed off in the snake-filled tomb of the Ark in Raiders of the Last Ark
Often, in these instances, the hero has to go through some kind of symbolic death or suffer the death of a loved one. In Star Wars, Luke kills an apparition of Darth Vader that turns out to be a version of himself inside the suit. Indiana Jones has to face his greatest fear in the tomb, and Marlin is knocked unconscious from the jelly stings.
Almost always, the result of the "Belly of the Whale" experience is that the hero gains some kind of knowledge. Sometimes, this knowledge is learning to trust his friends (Marlin). Sometimes this knowledge is something the hero doesn't understand right away but will become important later on (Luke Skywalker). Other times, it's the knowledge that the hero must leave his known world to grow and gain power in a distant land (Semba).
I'm not sure how I would incorporate this motif just yet. It wouldn't be hard. Caves, caverns, dungeons, and all manner of underground complexes exist in Celandine Valley. One might even point to the coal mines I used in Book 1 as an example.
So anyway, I'm looking forward to working in the Belly of the Whale. I know I'll be able to, and it will an adventure for myself to figure out how.
Also, I hope you continue to help me promote the Drive to 25 Campaign.
We're trying to get to 25 copies of the Book 1 audio book sold by November. Currently, we're at 19. Please help by sharing these blog posts or sharing links to my audio book.
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