As a staple in many stories, especially fantasy and sci fi, one character, usually the young main character, is tutored, trained, instructed, and/or taught by somone. That is the Mentor. (On a side note, watching the movies I realized Gandalf is a crappy wizard. I doesn't know how to get into Moria, he gets lost once FRODO figures out a way in, and then what, he dies. [not really his fault]) Anyway, with rising literature from the success of LOTR and Harry Potter (which is essentially filled with mentors) it would seem that the concept of a mentor is taboo, a forbidden concept that new writers have ruined, and thus new new writers avoid. I for one have only just recently found a way around my own 'mentor' by giving him more qualities/roles that make him more of an Aragorn and less of a Gandalf. Though my ultimate goal is not to go the way of a certain Mr. Paolini, I still have some kinks I'd like to work out. In the first chapter, which has gone unwritten for many reasons, the hero meets this Mentor/ally. The two are both residents of this big city and have not met in several years. I can't seem to come up with a good way for them to bump into eachother. Later, as the hero is already a talented swordsman, the Mentor goes on to train another character, a female. I have a few ideas of my own, but I need a good idea as to how to not make this sound weird. Man in his fifties explorers the plains and forests with teenage girl. Thanks in advance, and sorry if my questions didn't seem clear.