In the last excerpt from “Beyond the Fae Veil,” I showed the villain Reva needed to escape. While a character must have someone to oppose, a villain isn’t enough to carry a character’s backstory. A hero also needs a reason to return home. As a good counterpoint within the scene, Reva also has someone waiting for her back at home.
The Hero’s Journey Always Features a Reason to Return Home
As I’ve mentioned before, the plot for “Beyond the Fae Veil” follows the Hero’s Journey, and, to a lesser degree, the Heroine’s Journey. A character needs to come full-circle, returning home after an adventure with a new understanding of their place in the world.
So why would Reva want to come home? Given how her stepmother treats her, no one could blame her for staying away. Once she crosses into a world of adventure, she could very well just stay there.
But there’s a loose end that will trouble Reva forever if she doesn’t go back: her sister needs to know that she’s okay.
Reva’s love for her little sister shows her in a sympathetic light. She has someone she cares about…someone waiting for her. Reva isn’t going off adventuring forever when she has ties that pull her back home. In her Hero’s Journey, Reva has to return home. Her sister is a big part of the reason why.
As a hopeless romantic, I have a particular nostalgia for “home” as a theme. The meaning of home has changed as I’ve gotten older. For me, it’s less about a place and more about people. At this time of year, everyone’s trying to find way to meet family for Thanksgiving. It’s also a reminder that home means familiarity of people, places, and things.
Obviously, I’ve written other stories where characters have a reason to return home. Del, for example, is on a quest to save her best friend in “Dark Empire.” She fully intends to return home to face all her obligations.
In another series, Kai has to face his demons and go back to his roots. “Sea Memories” features that journey for him.
Saturday Snippet from “Beyond the Fae Veil”
Reva glanced up at the sky, where the sun peeked wearily behind dark, shifting clouds. A sharp gust of wind swept through the narrow street and Reva tucked her chin grimly before setting off. She coiled her fingers around the package to shelter them from the wind and focused on putting one foot in front of the next as she cleared the narrow street and turned into the cobbled village square.
“Reva!” a young voice called from behind her.
Reva couldn’t help but smile. She hadn’t seen her sister most of the day, between Nadia’s school and her own chores.
Nadia ran to her and wrapped her in a warm hug. Reva folded one free arm around the younger girl, bending to rest her cheek against her sister’s hooded head. “I’ve missed you all day, and now you look like you’re going out again.”
Reva smiled indulgently at the pout on the younger girl’s face. She tucked a few wisps of brown hair behind her sister’s ear and pulled the hood on more firmly. “Are you warm enough?” Her sister’s glowing cheeks, dusted with scattered freckles, were still round with childhood, though she’d be fully grown in a couple of years.
Nadia tilted her head like a bird, her bright blue eyes flickering over Reva’s form. “Shouldn’t I be asking you that? You don’t even have a scarf or mittens, and your hands are already freezing.” She tucked her hand into Reva’s and continued beside her as they sidestepped a puddle.
“Walking will keep me warm,” Reva promised. “You should hurry home. Mother already made supper and she’ll be looking for you.” But she didn’t really want to lose her sister’s company so soon. “How was your day at school?”
Nadia shrugged. “The same as usual. The teacher screamed when one of the boys put a mouse in her drawer. She made us all write lines after.”
Reva cracked a smile. “At least you practiced your script.”
“Are you sure you need to deliver that package right now?” Nadia asked. Her bright eyes looked shadowed with unspoken worries. “At school all the girls whispered about Summer’s End. Fairies are abroad tonight.”
Excerpt from “Beyond the Fae Veil” copyrighted by Preeti C. Sharma, 2020.
So what do you think will happen to Reva next? (Not like I haven’t give you a ton of spoilers…)
Do you like reading stories featuring characters with a reason to return home?