Hero’s Journey

The hero’s journey is a narrative pattern that appears in many stories, films, and myths. It is a classic structure that follows a hero on their journey from an ordinary world to a special world filled with adventure and danger, and ultimately back to their ordinary world as a transformed hero.

Listed below are the steps and stages for writing your story. Not every book follows this template, but it does provide a roadmap to successful writing in my opinion. Currently, I am drafting several novels, although some will see the light of the publishing world, others will not for one reason or another. I am still learning this Hero’s Journey blueprint. I have also been reading some notable books that are self-published and note some do not seem to follow any sort of pattern of the Hero’s Journey. Does this make the stories bad or awful?

In a short answer: no.

Below is a list of the Hero’s journey- the short and sweet of it. I didn’t want to post something too long-winded in explaining this critical blueprint and felt it could help many authors out there.

The hero’s journey typically involves several stages:

  1. The Ordinary World: The hero begins in their ordinary world, where they are often unhappy or unfulfilled. They may receive a call to adventure, or be forced out of their ordinary world by a change in circumstances.
  2. The Call to Adventure: The hero is summoned to leave their ordinary world and enter the special world of adventure. They may be reluctant to answer the call, but eventually, they accept it.
  3. Refusal of the Call: The hero may initially refuse the call to adventure, either because of fear or a lack of confidence. However, they are eventually convinced to accept the challenge.
  4. Meeting the Mentor: The hero meets a mentor or guide who provides them with wisdom, tools, or assistance that will aid them on their journey.
  5. Crossing the Threshold: The hero crosses the threshold into the special world of adventure, leaving their old life behind and entering a new and dangerous world.
  6. Tests, Allies, and Enemies: The hero faces a series of tests, challenges, and obstacles. They may make allies who will aid them in their quest, and they may encounter enemies who seek to stop them.
  7. Approach to the Inmost Cave: The hero approaches the heart of the special world, the inmost cave where they will face their greatest challenge.
  8. The Ordeal: The hero faces their greatest challenge or battle. They may experience a physical, emotional, or spiritual death before emerging victorious.
  9. The Reward: The hero receives a reward, either in the form of treasure, knowledge, or a new perspective. This reward will aid them in their journey back to the ordinary world.
  10. The Road Back: The hero begins their journey back to the ordinary world, but they may face additional challenges and obstacles.
  11. The Resurrection: The hero faces one final challenge, often a showdown with their enemy. They must use all of the skills and knowledge they have gained on their journey to emerge victorious.
  12. Return with the Elixir: The hero returns to the ordinary world, transformed by their journey. They bring back a treasure or gift, whether physical or emotional, that will aid them and their community.

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