1. Sarah's scribbles
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    Sarah's scribbles Member

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    The hero's journey

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Sarah's scribbles, Jul 30, 2015.

    K so can someone help me with the idea of the hero's journey I'm a little at a loss as to how certain parts of it works. I've tried to study it and everything but I'm not sure I totally grasp the concept.

    K so start by introducing the character of the "hero." I get that. Then he gets the call to adventure, the moment where things start to change for the "hero" that makes him change or introduces new elements to the story. But I don't quite understand the refusal of the call.

    Meeting the mentor is a given the person will find a teacher a leader or some kind of advisor who knows all the things he doesn't know and guides him through this new adventure. Then he commits to leaving... I find myself at another loss here.

    But from what I gather the hero should be set up to dangers and new experiences by this point. My problem with the refusal of the call is why do they refuse it? I think a call to adventure would be enough myself. Something new and interesting to replace the boring.

    And then does it have to be a literal "Leaving." Or perhaps can it be a bit more of a metaphorical leaving? He leaves behind parts of his old life to commit to the new one or a separation from his family and friends.

    Testing allies and enemies, the approach, so this is just space to introduce new characters? Should I not introduce the villain before hand? Or allies, or perhaps could the friends our "hero" already has could have their own kind of heroes journey and are introduced to the fictional world or does it have to be a supernatural or whatever inclined character from the beginning?

    The ordeal. He faces some great tragedy or suffering, he stares down death. And for this he is rewarded. Really I think I could understand this better if I'm given some examples of it but at the moment I'm having trouble locking these two with the last ones.

    The return... What if I don't want my character to return? What if they like the supernatural world better? What if they never "Left" in the first place like I asked does it have to be a literal "leaving." Or perhaps could this be a scene in which he simply tries to reconnect with normality and his ordinary life in which people have been growing without him? Perhaps he finds that his so called "friends and family." have begun to move on without him and are doing lives of their own where he's not needed.

    I also understand that there're a couple different forms of the heroes journey, did they simply get a revamp by later authors or are there actual different types of the heroes journey?

    any answers are greatly appreciated. also, do you use the hero's journey any or do you find you fall into the trappings of it?
     
  2. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Hero's Journey isn't so much a template for a story as it is an analysis of heroic legends to see what they have in common. You can certainly use elements of if (I think I have a few) but you don't have to use all of it - and like I said it's not a template that was invented to help writers. You can even find alternate versions of it (there's a feminist "Heroine's Journey" template by Maureen Mourdock that I like a lot - although I don't use all of that one either.)

    If you're looking for advice on Story Structure, I'd look at some simpler models like the Three Act Structure, the Hollywood Formula, or Dan Wells' Seven Point story structure. Those are looser templates than the Hero's Journey and not nearly as detailed.
     
  3. Sarah's scribbles
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    Sarah's scribbles Member

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    I understand I've been explained that before.

    I will look into those templates. I'm just trying to find some structure to help me format my stories better. I find I move all over the place and don't have a goal other than to write what comes into my head. thank you.
     
  4. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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  5. Sarah's scribbles
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    Sarah's scribbles Member

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    thanks
     
  6. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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  7. Sarah's scribbles
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    Sarah's scribbles Member

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  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Watch yourself from Star Wars. Luke tells Obi-wan, "Yeah, I hate the Empire, but there's nothing I can do about it. It's all such a long way from here." It's not until his aunt and uncle are killed that he "leaves the valley" and goes off to become a Jedi.

    If you sit down and watch the movie, you'll see that every step, both in each movie, and in the trilogy as a whole, matches up with a stage in the monomyth.
     
  9. jessthebookworm
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    jessthebookworm New Member

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    That's a great prompt, but you should just write from your heart! That was that writer's style, and your style may be totally different. Just put down everything about your hero. Follow along with the prompt, but keep it the way you feel comfortable with.
     
  10. animenagai
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    animenagai Member

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    So let me start by saying that I LOVE the hero's journey as a piece of analysis. Having said that, don't take all the pieces so literally. Understand why each bit is useful, then you can turn them on its head.

    So, just to answer some questions:

    The refusal of the call is supposed to add a sense of realism, and to show that the journey isn't easy. If the hero has to save the word for example, that's one hell of a task. He's probably going to hesitate. That's all the refusal is, a moment where the hero goes 'that sound dandy at all but... eh'. Sometimes, the refusal isn't necessary. In one of my favourite visual novels, the characters wake up stuck in a sadistic warehouse and must find a way to escape. If the journey's trying to find a way out of danger for example, the hero's not going to refuse that.

    When Joseph Campbell talks about 'worlds' it's almost always metaphorical. Think about it, not all stories are epics. In a romance, the protagonist could start off in her normal world (working as a bank teller for example), and the special world could be her new boss and their unfolding romance.

    Likewise, the ordeal doesn't have to involve staring death in the face -- it can be a metaphor. Again in a romance, it could be the love interest trying to break it off. Maybe he just got a job overseas, maybe his parents don't approve, maybe his ex just called him back and wants to rekindle the flame. Whatever.

    I think the most important thing is to look beyond the simple conventions of the hero's journey. I'm in a rush now but I'll add more later. I was obsessed with this stuff for quite a while lol.

    edit: I've got less time now than when I first wrote this post. Sorry, I can't expand on too much, but if you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
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  11. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    There are a ton of videos at KalBashir.com - watch 50 of them and you'll get the gist of it.

    If you want detail, I highly recommend his 2100+ stage Hero's Journey And Transformation Through A New World / State book.
     

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