Hero’s Journey 101: Definition and Step-by-Step Guide (With Checklist!)
The Hero’s Journey is an age-old story structure that can be found in everything from Theseus and the Minotaur to The Lion King. In this post, we’ll show you how to make this classic plot work for you u2014 and summarize everything in a handy infographic.
What is the Hero’s Journey?
The Hero’s Journey, also known as the monomyth, is a common story structure. In 1949, Joseph Campbell coined the three stages of the hero’s journey, and in his book The Writer’s Journey, Christopher Vogler refined Campbell’s original structure, defining 12 stages.
The 12 Steps of the Hero’s Journey
The Hero’s Journey is a story structure that applies across mediums and genres, and we’ve used the 1976 film Rocky as an example to show how it can be used outside of your average sword-and-sorcery novel.
1. Ordinary World
Before our Hero discovers a strange new world, we must first comprehend the status quo: their ordinary, mundane reality. It is up to this first leg to set the scene, introducing the Hero to readers and setting the stage for the rest of the story.
2. Call to Adventure
The Hero is confronted with a problem or challenge that they can’t ignore, which can take many forms, as Campbell points out in Hero with a Thousand Faces. The stakes of the adventure and the goals become clear.
Rocky: Call to Adventure:
The undisputed World Heavyweight Champion is Apollo Creed.
3. Refusal of the Call
In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker initially refuses to join Obi-Wan on his mission to rescue the princess because it is risky and there are perils u2014 such as spiders, trolls, or a creepy uncle waiting back at Pride Rock.
4. Meeting the Mentor
Mentors are people who help the Hero avoid making a fool of themselves by providing practical training, profound wisdom, or a kick in the pants. Mentors can take many forms, ranging from witches to hermits to suburban karate instructors.
Rocky: Meeting the Mentor
Mickey “Mighty Mick” Goldmill, a former boxer, sees potential in Rocky and begins training him for the fight to save his life.
5. Crossing the First Threshold
The Departure stage is when the Hero’s speed really picks up, and there’s no turning back now. Take a moment to re-assess your bearings before continuing into unfamiliar territory.
6. Tests, Allies, Enemies
Spencer, Bethany, “Fridge,” and Martha run into a herd of bloodthirsty hippos in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, while Marlin and Dory encounter three “reformed” sharks, are shocked by jellyfish, and are swallowed by a blue whale in Harry Potter.
7. Approach to the Inmost Cave
The “inmost cave” in Star Wars refers to the most dangerous location in the other realm, and it is almost always where the quest’s ultimate goal is located. This stage covers all of the necessary preparations for defeating the villain.
Rocky: Approach to the Inmost Cave
Rocky’s Inmost Cave is his own mind, where he fears he’ll never amount to anything, as evidenced by his butting heads with his trainer, Mickey, in his apartment.
The Ordeal is the main event of the second act, and if the Hero survives it, they will be transformed. It is sometimes not the climax of the story; there is more to come, but it can be thought of as the main event of the second act.
9. Reward (Seizing the Sword)
The “reward” is the object or knowledge that the protagonist has fought for throughout the journey, and once they have it, it usually has greater ramifications. Luke rescued Princess Leia and captured the Death Star plans. Dorothy uses the broomstick to escape the Wicked Witch’s castle.
How do you make a hero’s journey?
The hero’s journey is divided into three distinct stages:
- The hero leaves the familiar world behind. The initiation is when the hero learns how to navigate the unfamiliar world. The return is when the hero returns to the familiar world.
What are the 12 stages of a hero’s journey?
The Hero’s Journey Has 12 Stages
- Call To Adventure.
- Refusal Of The Call.
- Meeting The Mentor.
- Crossing The Threshold.
- Tests, Allies, and Enemies.
- Approach To The Inmost Cave.
What is an example of Hero’s Journey?
You’ll recognize the stages of the hero’s journey in the Old English poem Beowulf: Ordinary world – Beowulf’s ordinary world is Greatland. Call to adventure – Beowulf heard stories of Grendel, who had killed many men.
What are the 3 stages of the hero’s journey?
The Departure (or Separation), the Initiation, and the Return, according to Campbell, are the three main stages, each of which consists of several steps. During the Departure, the hero is introduced as they are presented with and prepare for their journey.
What are the 11 steps of the hero’s journey?
This set’s terms (11)
- Call to adventure.
- Denial of the call.
- Meeting the mentor.
- Crossing the threshold.
- Tests, allies, and enemies.
- Approach the innermost cave.
- The ordeal.
What are the 8 steps of a hero’s journey?
There are eight terms in this set.
- Return with a gift.
- The call. A problem is presented, and the hero cannot remain in the ordinary world.
- The call.
How do you use the hero’s journey?
What is the best way to write a hero’s journey?
- First, create your hero. Forget about the traditional meanings of the word ‘hero,’ and let your imagination run wild.
- Then, give them a goal. Remember, stories exist on a literal level first and foremost.
- Finally, lay out the four quadrants of the story cycle.
What is the resolution in the hero’s journey?
When the main problem is solved, there is little room for the story to continue in an engaging way; when a story reaches resolution, conflicts are resolved in some way (for better or worse), and loose ends are sufficiently tied up.
Why is the hero’s journey used?
Understanding our own hero’s journey and being able to recognize and respond to the call to adventure can help us become positive change agents for ourselves, others, and our community.
What are the four parts of the hero’s journey?
The Hero’s Journey was his all-encompassing metaphor for the deep inner transformation that heroes appear to share throughout history, a path that leads them through great movements of separation, descent, ordeal, and return.
Is the Wizard of Oz a hero’s journey?
The Wizard of Oz is a classic Hero’s Journey that begins with Dorothy’s decision to leave home, and ends with her refusal to return home after being duped by the soon-to-be-wizard.
What are the four parts of the hero’s journey myth?
What is the Hero’s Journey, and how does it work?
- The Departure Act: the Hero departs from the Ordinary World. The Initiation Act: the Hero enters unknown territory (the ” Special World “) and undergoes various trials and challenges in order to be born into a true champion.
What are the 10 stages of a hero’s journey?
Steps in the Hero’s Journey
- Step 1: The Ordinary World.
- Step 2: The Call to Adventure.
- Step 3: Cross the First Threshold.
- Step 4: Trials, Friends, and Foes.
- Step 5: Magical Mentor (or the Mentor with Supernatural Aid)
- Step 6: Dragon’s Lair.
- Step 7: Moment of Despair.
What part of the hero’s journey is the climax?
The story then moves on to the sixth phase, the world of Trials, Allies, and Enemies, where the hero will meet new people, face new challenges, overcome tests and traps, defeat monsters, and prepare for the big challenge ahead, known as the Ordeal, which will be the setting for your climax.
Who came up with the hero’s journey?
Joseph Campbell first recognized the monomyth, or Hero’s Journey, as a pattern in mythology when he noticed that heroes in mythology typically go through the same 17 stages in their journey to hero-dom.