The Hero’s Journey

heros journey

Our last writer’s group covered the topic of Heroes and Villains. I discussed Villains before with Writing a Good Bad Guy, but our discussion also explore the Hero’s Journey.

The Hero’s Journey is a monomyth told and retold over the centuries in good story telling. This concept was first introduced by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Not to say he discovered it, but he explained it as a narrative archetype.

This video provides an entertaining explanation of the Hero’s Journey: (click image)


I certainly considered my own retelling of the hero’s journey through my stories, to see if it is there. It was. As writers, we personalize the journey with our character, settings, and conflicts, thus, making a unique story. The storyline is not unique, but our story should reflect similar elements, while making it our own.

If you think about it, we, as would-be authors, also have our Hero’s journey: (I’ve summarized the journey)

  • Writer has call to adventure- hoping to write and publish someday
  • Refusal to the call- fears tends to get in the way, overthinking, and worry you’re not good enough prevents the stories to be written, let alone shared.
  • Supernatural aid- The Creative Muse inspires and injects stories, nagging characters continue to haunt the writer.
  • Crossing the threshold- The writer begins to write the story, despite fears and doubts, and gains super powers of storytelling.
  • Belly of the whale- The writer faces the editing process, overwhelmed with more doubts in writing ability or if the story is good enough to publish.
  • Road of trials- Editing, revision, editing, naysayers, sharing and facing criticism, and more editing.
  • Meeting the goddess- The muse or writer friend assures the writer it can be done, to accept mistakes, embrace them in fact, so they can work through the process to make it better.
  • Refusal of the return- The writer is unable to return to being a regular person, having found the delight of writing.
  • Freedom to Live- ok so I skipped some of the journey’s steps, but you get the point. Here, the writer releases the doubt, understands the process, and finishes the book to get it published. They start to work on the next book.

What are your thoughts on the Journey? Does your stories include the elements? Post in comments.

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