Tag: heros journey (Page 2 of 2)

Hero’s Journey: Stepping Onto the Road With Plot

This post is part of a series exploring the Hero’s Journey. Joseph Campbell studied hundreds of world-wide myths, finding patterns to virtually any story. This basic framework gives the stories we tell a universal, timeless appeal and resonate deeply with our audiences. This series is not about a “five steps to perfect stories” method, nor does it claim a best way to tell stories.  Today, we begin with plot.

Check out the rest of the series and a compare different versions of the Hero’s Journey

The “Journey” in Hero’s Journey

The Hero”™s Journey (or the Writer”™s Journey as Christopher Vogler calls it) has been analyzed, redefined, tinkered with and taught a million different ways. The point of this series is not to make that a million and one, but to simplify it a little. Stories are simple. They are powerful. That”™s why its been a primary occupation of man since that first campfire. We will break down the journey into five steps:

  1. The Hero and the Ordinary World, Broken
  2. The Hero and the Quest
  3. The Hero and the Passion
  4. The Hero and the Moment
  5. The Hero and the Repercussions

For the geeks out there (of which I am unashamedly one), here is a more extensive list of the Writer”™s Journey and Joseph Campbell”™s original Hero”™s Journey.

The Hero and Character Growth

We use these five steps because they are a more character-centered way of organizing the Hero”™s Journey. Each of the five steps is completely connected with the Hero”™s growth and character arc. As we will see in more detail later, the main character (and really most of your characters) must grow. They must change, becoming a different person by the end of the tale. That may be literal (zombie to human) or more internal (grumpy to happy). It can even be negative growth (happy to grumpy), though handle this with caution. The point is: the journey itself (all the stuff the hero goes through) aids this change. Most commonly, a hero has a want, a wound, and a need. You may also think of these as character flaws. More on this later.

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Series: The Hero’s Journey

See Also: Chart Comparing Different Versions of the Hero’s Journey

If you ask any twenty people why they enjoy stories, you”™re likely to get a hundred answers. Another, closely related question: what is a story? Another hundred answers. From all that mess (with few exceptions) will arise some common themes about what stories are and why they drive us to spend so much time with fictional characters in made-up universes. The common elements of good stories: character, plot, setting.

We knew that. Characters doing things in a time and place. The way those elements are constructed, the dance they weave around each other, separates forgettable tales from timeless classics. There are other important elements: voice, tone, motifs, themes, and the rest. But these stand on the shoulders of our three basic pieces to every good story puzzle.

The Hero”™s Journey is one way to weave characters, plot, and setting. It is not the only way. It may not be the best way. The magic of the Hero’s Journey arises from its primality; its universal basicness. Joseph Campbell spent his lifetime investigating myths from all around the world, distilling patterns he found from all civilizations into some common principles. Carl Jung, a prominant psychologist, built upon this these patterns by likening this journey to facets found deep in the human psyche and cultural memories.  This isn”™t some kooky metaphysical idea, it”™s basic psychology.

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Comparing Hero’s Journey, Writer’s Journey, and Hero with 1000 Faces

Exploring the Hero’s Journey is a new series about how to incorporate mythical ideas into any story to give it a universality.  This idea started with Joseph Campbell’s “Hero With a Thousand Faces” which he drew from hundreds of myths worldwide. Then Christopher Vogler wrote “The Writer’s Journey” that updates and simplifies it a little. Here is a chart that shows my version of the Hero’s Journey with the other two and a typical 3 act structure to make sense of it all.

My Hero”™s Journey The Writer”™s Journey The Hero with a Thousand Faces
The Hero and the Ordinary World, Broken Ordinary World World of Common Day
Call to Adventure Call to Adventure
Refusal of the Call Refusal of the Call
Meeting the Mentor Supernatural Aid
The Hero and the Quest Crossing the Threshold Crossing the First Threshold
Belly of the Whale
Approach to the Inmost Cave Road of Trials
Meeting with the goddess
Woman as Temptress
Atonement with the Father
Reward The Ultimate Boon
The Road Back Refusal of the Return
The Magic Flight
The Hero and the Moment Rescue from Within
Crossing the Threshold
The Hero and the Repercussions Resurrection Master of Two Worlds
Return with the Elixir Freedom to live
Read More Read More Read More

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