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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Approach to the Inmost Cave: The hero approaches the heart of the special world, the inmost cave where they will face their greatest challenge.
- The Ordeal: The hero faces their greatest challenge or battle. They may experience a physical, emotional, or spiritual death before emerging victorious.
- 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.
- The Road Back: The hero begins their journey back to the ordinary world, but they may face additional challenges and obstacles.
- 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.
- 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.