We've started looking at The Hero's Journey for our fantasy writing. This formula works for any genre, of course, but we're mainly talking about fantasy.
According to my book, the Journey has 12 stages.
1) Heroes are introduced in the ORDINARY WORLD, where
2) they recieve the CALL TO ADVENTURE.
3) They are RELUCTANT at first or REFUSE THE CALL, but
4) are encouraged by a MENTOR to
5) CROSS THE FIRST THRESHOLD and enter the Special World where
6) they encounter TESTS, ALLIES and ENEMIES.
7) They APPROACH THE INMOST CAVE, crossing a second threshold
8) where they endure the SURPEME ORDEAL.
9) They take possession of their REWARD and
10) are pursued on THE ROAD BACK to the Ordinary World.
11) They cross the third threshold, experience a RESURRECTION and are transformed by the experience.
12) They RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR, a boon or treasure to benefit the Ordinary World.
We've talked about the Ordinary World and Physical/Inward Journey. Christopher Vogler's book The Writer's Journey, breaks down these 12 steps, adding more detail. Vogler says, "The Hero's Journey is infinitely flexible, capable of endless variation without sacrificing any of its magic, and it will outlive us all." It is a map we can follow, taking our own turns and making what we want of it.
Let's look at the second step of THJ: The Call to Adventure. This is where the hero is presented with a problem, challenge or adventure to undertake. I like to call it a "quest." This mean he/she cannot remain in the Ordinary World. The Call to Adventure establishes the stakes of the game and makes clear the hero's goal.
Let's talk about The Call. How long do we spend there? How do we bring it about? Is The Call clear in your writing? Is The Call unique? If so, how can you give it a twist to make it less typical?
Don't Plant Trees!
4 years ago