Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three Reading Schedule
We started September out on a Thursday, this month in October the month starts on a Saturday so I’m going to continue posting the discussion posts on Friday’s, including the last one, which will be on October 28th.
You can do a post and leave your link in the comments, or you can just post your thoughts in the comments of the week’s discussion post.
Reading schedule: I realize that you may be reading from a different edition than me so the page numbers may be off.
Week One (October 1 – 6) Page 11 – 84 (end on p. 84 or before starting the Ch. 4, The Tower)
Week Two (October 8 – 13) Page 85 – 182 (end on p. 182 before The Lady of Shadows)
Week Three (October 15 – 20) Page 183 – 277 (end on p. 277 before Reshuffle)
Week Four (October 22 – 30) Page 279 – 399 (end, except for the Afterword page)
Posting Schedule: Date the post will be live here:
October 1–Week One
October 7–Week Two
October 14-Week Three
October 21–Week Four
Be aware that if you have not read to the end of the scheduled reading sections each week, there will most probably be spoilers in the discussion posts.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.
Hello all. Welcome to NaNoWriMo Preparations… Last year I stumbled upon Arwen’s 33 Days to Finish Your Novel. I wanted to try something different and outlining my novel via Tarot and the Hero’s Journey sounded interesting, creative, and fun. I watched a couple of her videos, read her information about the course, and signed up. It’s one of the best things I’ve done for my writing.
Thanks to Arwen, I outlined my novel Witchy Business for NaNoWriMo last year, and I went on to outline yet another novel, both of those are works-in-progress. And now it’s time to prepare for this year’s novel. Out came my notebook with everything from Arwen’s course, along with Corrine Kenner’s book Tarot for Writer’s, two or three of my tarot decks, my Hobonichi, my writer’s bullet journal, and my Writer’s Bible, pens and highlighters, colored index cards. And what do you know… I’m ready. Oh, and the coffee–that’s a must.
And away I go with the start of my outline. I’ve been busy the past two days. I have gotten my supplies together, started my character sketch, started the first part of my outline. Tomorrow I start working on my MC’s GMC (goal, motivation, conflict). After that it’s the Antagonist and his GMC. First index card with tarot card (a copy of it) is pinned on my tri-fold board–my storyboard no longer looks like a blank canvas.
I feel like I accomplished something today, even though it took me friggin’ forever to get the second part of my NaNoWriMo Prep Pt 2/Beginning of my Outline edited. Grrrr! I really need to figure out the editing software that I purchased so I can quit using Movie Maker. That, or I need to win the lottery so I can afford an iMac. 😀
I’m really excited. My outlining is going well so far. 😀
Uncovering a Sense of Support Critical to any creative journey is sense of creative support. You must practice discernment, weeding out that which does not serve and watering the shoots you want to foster. This week’s tasks invite you to consciously interact with those who are positive on your behalf. Reaching out to others for their belief, you will also reach within and steady your personal confidence. If you had the faith what might you try” This week’s explorations will lead you into knowing your own mind.
When I first saw this chapter (my first attempt at Finding Water), I wasn’t thrilled about it–this time, however, things have changed. Cameron talks about having a network of friends and family there to be supportive. She calls these supportive people in your life Believing Mirrors. Accordingly, they reflect back to you the beautiful being that you are when you aren’t able to see it yourself. And through their own beauty they inspire you and speak the words you were thinking, but hadn’t formed yet or the words that you’re afraid to say. In turn, you will reflect the amazing creative beings that they are and that you are yourself–without having to actually work hard at it, which is what we do when we’re doing it alone. In a group setting, this multiplies. Cameron states that “creativity occurs in clusters,” and I agree with her. Over the past month I’ve found this to be true myself.
This week has been chaotic, especially the weekend. I’ve been busy with family, as well as personal and creative projects. I missed doing Morning/Evening pages more than once this week. I had to split my Artist Date into two different things because of time and obligations, but I ended up having much more fun than I might have had I just done what I had originally planned for my Artist Date. For more about what I did for my walk and my Artist Date I’ve included the video for this week.
Truth is, with each passing week I’ve realized that 1. I need to prepare for my Artist Date better. 2. I need to make the time for my Morning/Evening pages. 3. I need to ask for help more. I know that things are getting better, I can feel it inside and out, but it’s slow going and I’m not the most patient of people–What? Me? Nope, I’m not. It’s one of my flaws.
I prefer to do things on my own, I don’t like asking for help, nor do I like feeling like I’m not able to do things myself… so asking for help is difficult, but not impossible. Over the past few years, I’ve had to ask for help from family and friends much more than I wanted but it helped me, and made me feel good–I have people I can ask for help. Over the past month, I’ve realized (thanks to our group, Destination Me) that I am not out here alone, and it’s alright to ask for help. 😀
Overall, this was a much better week, and a much better experience, than I thought it would be. Now, I’m off to address thank you cards.
I just finished the Gunslinger. Here are a few of the lines that really stood out from the last few chapters: “he sat stiffly in the darkness, stunned with horror and terrified (for the first time in his existence) of the self-loathing that might come afterward.”
“In a sudden, simple thought (almost a vision) it came to him that all he had to do was give it over, turn around, take the boy with him, and make him the center of the new force. The Tower did not have to be obtained in this humiliating, nose-rubbing way, did it?…He knew with a sudden coldness that turning backward would mean death for both of them–death or worse.”
“Go then. There are other worlds than these.”
What stood out for you? Why?
Instead of having a few questions per chapter I thought I would change things for the later half of the book and talk about overall impressions, favorite lines from the book, how King’s writing feels to the reader, and what you think about Roland, the man in black, Jake, and where the story is headed…
As I read this book again for the first time in over a decade I was, firstly amazed at how it almost felt like reading it for the first time all over again. Secondly, I was amazed that even as I read I kept noticing the subtle and not so subtle changes that King made in this version compared to the first version, which I finally found in a box –I’d hidden it because it was almost damaged beyond repair when where I was living was flooded almost 10 years ago. I know this book seems a little dark, perhaps a bit boring, compared to the other books in the series, and many feel that the reading order should start with The Drawing of the Three, but I disagree. This is, afterall, a story about more than just the Dark Tower, it’s a story about the last Gunslinger’s quest for the Dark Tower. Roland is the last of his kind. Perhaps he succeeds and fails because of his lack of imagination, his intuition, his seemingly ambivalent feelings towards anything or anyone who might stand in his way of the Tower, but Roland’s growth as a character cannot be fully understood unless you read this book along with the others.
Jake: I don’t want to spoil future books but Jake’s last words are extremely important and symbolic. Roland has known deep down that there are other worlds. His glimpse of the universe and other worlds from the Man in Black is almost too much for Roland, as we’ve learned Roland doesn’t have much in the way of imagination. Roland knows in his heart what to do, but his head keeps winning the arguments, thus he loses Jake. His thoughts about taking Jake and finding another way to the Tower make you realize just how much he does love Jake for him to even think that thought, though you know he won’t turn back from his quest for the Tower…it’s a bit of foreshadowing though–you can feel it as you read the words.
SPOILER ALERT: Everything changes for Roland once he draws the three and his Ka-tet is formed. If you don’t read the Gunslinger first then you can’t fully understand just how alone Roland is and has been before he Draws the Three. He’s the last of his kind, one of, if not the only, survivor of his world–imagine how alone he is. He meets Jake and everything changes and yet it doesn’t show immediately. Later on, you’ll see just how much meeting Jake and loving and losing Jake changed him.
Do you blame Roland for the deaths in Tull? Yes and no, Roland knew that if he stayed, even though he had ample opportunity to leave, that it wouldn’t end well, but he stayed to face it head on–that’s his nature at this point in the story. Was there another way or were the events predestined? He could have left. “Why would I feel bad?” he told Brown. Does his lack of compassion over the killing change anything? I don’t think he is void of compassion. I think he feels things he just doesn’t let his feelings stop him from doing what the things is right.
Chapter 2 Questions:
What do you think about the High Speech? What do you think it means to Roland–Past and Present? I think the High Speech connects him with his past, with his father and the face of his father, so to speak–connects him with what he’s about–his quest. High Speech is also a reminder that the world has moved on. “It is not your place to be moral,” his father says. “Morals may always be beyond you.” I disagree with that, but understand why his father said it… he believes that this will make Roland formidable–a force to be reckoned with because when it is required for Roland to put his morals aside to do what must be done he will be able to do so.
What do you think about the flashbacks Roland has of his world before it moved on? It’s important as backstory. It’s also important because it helps keep Roland on task, for good or bad. When Roland first starts his quest as a Guslinger his view is romantic, but as you read further on you realize that now Roland feels that his quest is required… he is the last Gunslinger.
Discuss Roland’s boyhood teacher and mentor Cort–What kind of man was Cort? How does Roland feel about Cort now? Cort is an asshole. One tough son of a bitch. He’s a warrior, tried and true, tough as nails, and lacks compassion. Everything is a lesson to Cort, and he is a hardcore teacher because he has to be. Roland hears Cort in his head, when he needs to less his romantic tendencies I think he thinks of Cort’s teachings when he needs reassurance. I also believe that Cort was such an asshole because he had to be in order to train future gunslingers–tough loe.
Why do you think Roland clings to the traditions from Mid-World, from before the world moved on? Love, honor, duty, loyalty… The world and traditions of Mid-World are similar to King Arthur, his knights, and Camelot. I’d cling to those traditions as well, especially since the new world doesn’t seem to be one where qualities like loyalty, duty, and honor take precedence.
“While you travel with the boy, the man in black travels with your soul?” What do you think about the prophecy? Roland is given this prophecy repeatedly, even though he believe it he brings Jake along. Do you think it’s Roland’s singular vision, or that he believe the prophecy to be predestined made the prophecy come true? Roland has already started caring about “the boy.” He knows as soon as he meets Jake that it’s important, and that it won’t end well, but he keeps Jake with him. I think the Prophecy is one more thing that Roland believes is predestined, but it’s actually Roland’s choice. Just like in Tull. He is the only one who can choose, he can change his fate, destiny…
Week 2 is titled: Uncovering a Sense of Reality. At first glance I was unsure about this chapter, but after reading the introduction I felt good. Stronger. That perhaps I’d gain more of a sense of my own power and strength… resolve.
“As you explore your inner world, your outer world will come more sharply into focus. As you face your imagined barriers, you will encounter real ones, as well. This week’s wortk will help you to become more grounded and farseeing. As you seek your own internal support, as well as the support of friends, your creativity will become more steady. As you undertake small actions on your own behalf–watering the garden, as it were–larger actions will seem more possible. A sense of your own power will return to you.”
The first section is called Claustrophobia. I know that feeling even though I am not claustrophobic. Feeling like you’re stuck, enclosed in a room, stuck looking at the same four walls, backed in a corner creatively–blocked, or even just overwhelmed and suffocated by all the things going on, especially if there are outside forces causing you drama. Cameron states that “drama is contagious,” and gives an example of a young writer who called her quite a few times in a short amount of time, about how the writer’s friends were “misbehaving,” that “life itself” was misbehaving, and that “things weren’t going her way.” The writer is unable to write and blames all the stress in her life. I’ve been there.
Cameron says, “It is only when she is not working that her normally nice boyfriend suddenly becomes the monster. It is when her mind is not on her work that it is so closely focused on the workings of everyone else’s personality. Her own personality is what is on tilt, but she can’t see that.”
I agree, and disagree. There are those who are never going to take an artistic career seriously, who see being an artist (like a writer, musician, painter, illustrator…) as not being a real job…You can’t change their minds, all you can do is what you do, have boundaries, and do your best.
My reality is that I sometimes lose focus, get distracted easily, and/or I try to do too much in a day. Along with a few other things that I discuss in this video about Week 2 of Finding Water.
Ebay: I look for used books. I also got the Yarka St. Petersburg watercolor pans from there, as well as Jinhao fountain pens.
Goulet Pens: I’ve ordered notebooks like Rhodia Webnotebook, as well as the Leuchtturm1917 softcover, and nibs for my fountain pens.
And the SevenSeas Crossfield, Standard, and Writer.
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Do you blame Roland for the deaths in Tull? Was there another way or were the events predestined? “Why would I feel bad?” he told Brown. Does his lack of compassion over the killing change anything? Or do you think he’s void of compassion?
Chapter 2 Questions:
What do you think about the High Speech? What do you think it means to Roland–Past and Present?
What do you think about the flashbacks Roland has of his world before it moved on?
Discuss Roland’s boyhood teacher and mentor Cort–What kind of man was Cort? How does Roland feel about Cort now?
Why do you think Roland clings to the traditions from Mid-World, from before the world moved on?
“While you travel with the boy, the man in black travels with your soul?” What do you think about the prophecy? Roland is given this prophecy repeatedly, even though he believe it he brings Jake along. Do you think it’s Roland’s singular vision, or that he believe the prophecy to be predestined made the prophecy come true?
Julia Cameron starts this week off with the mantra that “you’re never to old to be young at heart, never to old to be a beginner.” I agree wholeheartedly with that, as a matter of fact, in the past few years I’ve began several new things (creating art again, writing a novel, making YT videos, my own website, created a group on FB with three other women, and am now working on three major creative projects). 😀
Cameron goes on to say, “To begin, resign from competition, stop comparing yourself to your idols,” and to that I also add to your old self and to your future self. In the Divining Rod section of this portion she asks you write about your deferred dream(s). Here are a few of mine:
Take a watercolor class
Finish my novel (completely)
Publish my novel
Take a photography course/class
Go to a writer’s workshop and a writer’s retreat
Take a cruise with my husband
When I thought about what I’d have to do to make some of those things happen I knew the answer immediately…Money. Some of that isn’t feasible right now, but there are other things I can do that are. I can research free watercolor classes, free photography classes. I can write every day and work on my novel… (I’m working on that currently).
She also asks write down a list of people you can go to for encouragement:
Now we’re to the focusing portion, and the big thing here is to “take time to see,” which means to take the time to really look at the world around you. Taking time to smell and see the roses. 😀 She says, “I must work to husband my own optimism. I must cling to the small and positive.” The Divining Rod for this section says to make a list of 5 beautiful things you’ve recently spotted.
My grandson’s smile.
The sight of my husband taking the time to make me coffee before he went to work.
The sunrise after the storm
The blush roses in my rose garden blooming with dew still on their leaves.
A bird on my clothesline singing.
Grounding: “What I am doing still matters in the scheme of things…Optimism is partially the happy accident…” and my favorite part of this section: “The doing of something productive regardless of outcome is an act of faith…just do the next right thing.” Believe you can and you will mentality. The Divining Rod section here made me realize just how often I turn to simples tasks to ground myself:
taking a shower
Possibilities: She says, “Learn to try…learn to act affirmatively.” and that “wherever creativity is afoot, so is blossoming.” But my favorite part is this: In order to make art we must be willing to labor…to reach inside and draw forth what we find there…it begins with possibilities.”
It’s is possible to do things.. You say… “Oh… It is possible that I can write a novel.” And then the notion of well “I can” becomes “I think I’ll try.”
I could try writing poems again.
I could try (again) to learn the new video editing software.
I could try to put the flooring in the kitchen down myself.
I could try writing short stories again.
I could try creating my own Tn folder/pocket dashboard things.
I could try making my own facial scrub…
I did Morning Pages 6 out of 7 days. I wasn’t feeling well on one of those days and went to bed really early. It helps clear my head when I do them, and the only repeating issue is that I noticed I need to slow down… I need to take a little time for me and make sure that I use the time for my Morning Pages as a more of a meditation thing as well.
I did my artist date. I actually did more than one. I took two nature walks just to enjoy the outdoors, and I went on a coffee/hot chocolate date with my grandson and we created art. 😀 I felt much better after all of those things.
I walked multiple times during the week. I took a longer walk one day, but the other days I walked for 20 minutes. So 4 walking days out of 7. It felt good, and I enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. I also spent 10 minutes walking around in the rain–for fun, before the storm here got bad.
I need to remember that it’s okay to ask for help.
“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” That first line! Who is the man in black? Why is he in the desert? Why is the gunslinger following the man in black? Who is the gunslinger? Talk about a first line that hooks the reader… my favorite first line ever, well, except for maybe these two:
A screaming comes across the sky. —Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)
You better not never tell nobody but God.—Alice Walker, The Color Purple
The first line of the Gunslinger grabbed me the first time I read it back in the late 80’s, and then the second time I read it in the early to mid 2000’s, and again now. I want to know what happens next. Who they are. Why they’re in the desert. And why the gunslinger (who we don’t know is Roland until about 100 pages in) is following the man in black.
I love the Gunslinger, on a whole, and the actual character of the gunslinger–Roland of Gilead. In the beginning of the novel Roland is weary, isolated, suspicious, serious, and has a keen eye for detail. Roland is a bit of an anti-hero.
Roland’s quest: Roland is the last gunslinger, like a knight but Roland’s grail is the Dark Tower. In order to save his world, as well other worlds, he believes that he needs to reach the Dark Tower and climb to the very top of it in order to talk to the god or demon that resides there. Mid-World, Roland’s world, is unraveling and the beams are breaking, the fabric of reality is changing because of this, and Roland has to find a way to save all worlds. Roland doesn’t know where the Dark Tower is, he just knows he has to complete his task.
King’s writing style compared to his other works is quite a bit different. The Dark Tower series is more fantasy, western, and a bit of sci-fi, with a little horror. Much of King’s other works are more horror/thriller, though some of his books I find more along the line of thriller. King is a natural storyteller, and that comes out no matter which book of his you’re reading. It’s one of my favorite things about King’s writing–I always get sucked in to the world of the book.
Walter O’Dim. The man in black is the antagonist, the “bad guy.” I won’t say much else at this point because of spoilers… except the black clothes are symbolic of the good versus evil element of the story… is the gunslinger, symbolic of good… protect and serve, and the man in black is bad, wearing all black, we don’t know who he is, or what he really looks like…he’s the man in black, hiding behind his robes.
My favorite part so far are the descriptions, and details like “Hey Jude” playing, and as hard as Roland tried to hide it, to bury it, he’s a romantic at heart. My least favorite part so far is that I am having a hard time not spoiling anything for those of you who haven’t read it.