A Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey is not built well on stereotypes. It excels on archetypes. Below I have listed the sequence of the hero’s transformation. These are recognized patterns in great stories. It is seen in everything from High Noon to Star Wars to Lord of the Rings.

  1. Discover the hero in his ordinary world, but hinting at the seeds of change.
  2. Call to adventure. The hero must do something. He has to undertake a challenge.
  3.  The hero usually refuses the call the first time for one reason or another.
  4. Refusal is overcome via advice from a mentor, which gives him the “magic”/information/wisdom that he needs… 
  5. …To cross the first threshold/challenge that brings him into a new world.
  6. In this new world, he will meet enemies and allies that will test and train him.
  7. He will begin to approach the secret, the inner most cave of the story.
  8. In that cave he will face his greatest fears and it may transform him or test him by some great ordeal.
  9. Then a reward or pay off for having endured the ordeal and faced his fears.
  10. Then there is the road back where he turns around commits to finishing the adventure with some new twists.
  11. The resurrection where the hero will be challenged once more on all the levels. The transformation is complete and the hero is redeemed.
  12. Comes back into the ordinary world with something he has learned, a new love, a new realization, a great story to tell.
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  1. June 30, 2012 at 1:32 am

    This speaks to the truth about some of the best heroes out there: They don’t make up their minds right away, and they usually never succeed on the first try. What makes them appealing is that they are human, and that they don’t give up.

  2. June 30, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Yep. These steps are like natural laws of gravity. Fail to keep them, and it will weaken your story, if not collapse it.

  1. July 4, 2012 at 8:33 am
  2. July 15, 2012 at 5:56 am

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