The Mentor

mentorI’m not an expert on archetypes, but I think most stories should have a mentor in them. People understand them and like them. Think of Glenda, the good witch in The Wizard of Oz. Think of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. The mentor often gives the hero a gift that will help him or her in their journey.

I teach creative writing in a drug and alcohol rehab facility. One of the people in mentormy class called me on the phone and asked me if I would be his mentor. At first I didn’t understand what he was talking about. “Is this a special word you use in your programming?” I asked.

“No,” he answered, sounding nervous that he had said the wrong thing.

“What do you mean about being your mentor?” I asked.

He hesitated and his voice was shaky. “I-I want you to be my mentor, I mean like for writing and for…other stuff.”

I was touched. He is a simple and sincere person. “Yes,” I said, “I’d be honored.” We set up a meeting to have coffee and we’ll go from there.

A mentor. Powerful archetype. How do you use mentors in your stories?

Images courtesy of:

  • blog.becomea.ca
  • afewgoodminds.com

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I’m not an expert on archetypes, but I think most stories should have a mentor in them. People understand them and like them. Think of Glenda, the good witch in The Wizard of Oz. Think of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. The mentor often gives the hero a gift that will help him or her in their journey.

I teach creative writing in a drug and alcohol rehab facility. One of the people in my class called me on the phone and asked me if I would be his mentor. At first I didn’t understand what he was talking about. “Is this a special word you use in your programming?” I asked.

“No,” he answered, sounding nervous that he had said the wrong thing.

“What do you mean about being your mentor?” I asked.

He hesitated and his voice was shaky. “I-I want you to be my mentor, I mean like for writing and for…other stuff.”

I was touched. He is a simple and sincere person. “Yes,” I said, “I’d be honored.” We set up a meeting to have coffee and we’ll go from there.

A mentor. Powerful archetype. How do you use mentors in your stories?

Images courtesy of:

blog.becomea.ca

afewgoodminds.com

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3 responses to “The Mentor

  1. There seems to be something wrong with the formatting of your post.

    In any event, people around my age who are also writers (or aspire to be) see me as a leading figure, and often ask me to be their mentor. They very rarely come to me about anything, but I guess the idea of having someone like that to rely on is reassuring for them.

    The way I use mentors in my stories is that they are there to speak to the protagonists and other characters about the path they have to walk, but not what steps to take. Obviously, they are a great motivation for revenge plots.

    I like to write mentors that are misunderstood as evil, or tainted in some way. The sacrifice makes their devotion to their pupil/student all the more clear.

  2. Congratulations, Ed. This is a wonderful thing to have been asked. I can imagine how honoured that would have made you feel and I’ll bet you’ll both get a heck of a lot of it. 🙂

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