Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Road Back

Sorry I'm posting late again. Getting my Christmas sewing done is making me crazy! But in a good way. :) We are almost done The Hero's Journey and will finish up next week. Then we'll start something new in January.

The Road Back
Just when you thought you were done ... your hero is not out of the woods yet. Now he has to deal with the consequences of confronting the dark forces of the Supreme Ordeal. If he hasn't managed to reconcile with the dark forces, they may come raging after him. And he has a choice to make; does he return back to the starting point or does he continue on the journey to a new location/destination?

This is where your story's energy can be revved up again. The Road Back marks a time when the hero rededicates himself to the adventure. It's a turning point that marks the beginning of the end of your book. It can be another moment of crisis that sets the hero on a new and final road of trials.

This is where the antagonist retaliates. What the hero "throws down" in a chase (to trick or hinder the persuing enemy) may represent a sacrifice or the leaving behind of something of value. Or the enemy may steal the treasure or kidnap an ally.

Not every book deals with this part of The Hero's Journey, but I'm thinking there may be a little of it in every story. And there are many ways to handle it. How are you dealing with The Road Back?


  1. In my book, this is definitely the "new and final road of trials." More people die, the protagonists have conflict with each other, everybody is tired and worn out, and they think they may have won the battle but lost the war.

  2. This is actually when I think is the perfect time for the "personal Major Climax"

    In other words, with one of my books, he won the war, the enemy is defeated and running, but there is still one more thing. He meets the defeated but not-quite-defeated villain face-to-face in a fight to the death.

    I love it when stories have that final adrenaline rush -- perfect time to pull the rug out and say: "wah ha ha! you thought you were done, eh reader?!" I like to end me books with a BANG!


    I'd rather have it end with a bang then have them slowly work their way back home. For some reason, it's depressing. Maybe because we know things will never be the same like in LOTR ....

  3. I kind of talk about this in the last section. I guess the road back home is when Annay has to go admit that she is responsible for a lot of the death and accept her punishment, even though she ended the wart.

  4. I'm not sure I have this in my WIP. I may have to revisit my plot outline and think about it. But I don't think it's necessary, at least for my story.