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  1. Damien Loveshaft

    Damien Loveshaft Active Member

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    The return home?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Damien Loveshaft, Nov 5, 2018.

    Lots of plot structures reference this. Is it more metaphorical than I'm thinking? What happens in a story when the protagonist can never go back to how things were before? I'm just curious cause the return home always feels out of reach. Like a newly embraced vampire forever thrust into the night? Even if it's not a bad or tragic end is it really going back to the ordinary? Or an eldritch hero who can never integrate back into normal society and chooses to make something new of his like instead of wallow?

    So what constitutes a return home/to the ordinary for you?

    Maybe I'm just overthinking it, but I constantly hear about everyone using this hero's journey structure and I feel like an outcast for not fitting into it so neatly. I've never felt able to adhere to plot structures.
     
  2. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

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    1st, a newly embraced vampire will be "at home" as a vampire. That is his "ordinary" state now. Things have changed, he's found a new home. From then on he can have new adventures, as a vampire, and that can be Book 2 in your series. In Book 1 your character transforms from a normal human being into a bloodthirsty vampire, just as the hero's journey prescribes. In Book 2 you start again with the hero at home, but this time his "home" is being a vampire. Then he can do other things, fall in love with a princess-ogre and try to transform himself into an ogre. Or, he could get bitten by a werewolf and transform into that. Or he could just be chased by vampire hunters throughout the book. And Book 2 can end with either the hero returning to his old home, rejecting being an ogre, getting healed from the werewolf curse, or escaping the hunters; or he can find a new home, and in Book 3 he'll already be an ogre, a werewolf-vampire, or a ghost, and on we go again.

    2nd, you don't have to follow writing advice like it's gospel.

    3rd, yes, you're overthinking it :D
     
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  3. Kalisto

    Kalisto Senior Member

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    Now, there are rules to writing and often those rules are meant to be broken. So with that said, take what I say with a grain of salt.

    If a story just goes back right to the beginning, then there's no point in it to begin with. Unless your theme is futility, and then I suppose you could get away with that. For the most part the idea of a story is that a character has hit a point in their life where there is no going back.
     
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  4. DK3654

    DK3654 Almost a Productive Member of Society Contributor

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    Exactly. IMO the point of the return point is majorly to do with showing how the hero has changed over the course of the story. People don't usually go on epic journeys and not change, even if it's pretty subtle (and usually it's not). Change is just something that happens to people one way or another.


    I like the idea of emphasising the change, the fact that the character can't just go back to how things were and just live happily ever after, and instead has to find a different way of doing things- not just because their circumstances have changed, but because they have made choices and seen the world in a different way. In fact, this is the focus of the character arc for my WIP main character. I fully encourage it.
     
  5. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

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    If the story is about a famous person who is stalked and threatened by a crazy fan, then at the end of the story the police catches the crazy fan and locks them up, and the famous person goes right back to the beginning (life without the crazy fan). The point of the story is that it entertained the public (movie goers or readers).
     
  6. DK3654

    DK3654 Almost a Productive Member of Society Contributor

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    Disagree. The famous person should be affected by the experience. It should lead them to do something differently, see something differently. Otherwise it's not a very interesting story. Otherwise the story should be about the crazy fan, they have an interesting journey here.
     
  7. Damien Loveshaft

    Damien Loveshaft Active Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I personally just found a lot of people talking about this in a very literal sense and wanted to maybe hear from people more familiar with plot structures than myself, especially monomyth. I've never used monomyth before, but became curious about plot embryos. I want to try and use a Harmon Embryo and have been trying to piece it all together the last few days.
     
  8. Azuresun

    Azuresun Senior Member

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    Campbell described the hero's journey as a way of summarising the common themes of a lot of existing stories and myths, not as a prescriptive structure that stories MUST follow.
     
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  9. Veltman

    Veltman Active Member

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    "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions."That saying usually rings true. One theme I like to explore is the hero being forced away from "home" (the status quo) and then trying to return to it, but once he gets back, even if "home" is mostly the same, he isn't, so It can't ever go back to just the way it was.
     
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  10. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

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    You don't have to fit your book into any plot structure. And if the character has gone through a massive event they won't really return to the ordinary because what they used to have may not be there.
    So I tend to look at it in a spiritual, mental and emotional way. I tend to want to emphasis the change in my character at this time and maybe compare them to how they were before. But I don't follow the Hero's Journey and nor to I intend to make myself too familiar with it.
     

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