Tips/TechniquesVideo Production

Better Storytelling Through The Hero’s Journey

By May 28, 2014No Comments


 Using The Hero’s Journey As A Guide

This is a 2 part post about using the Hero’s Journey as a guide to become a better storytelling. The Hero’s Journey is a model for creating a stories that is often used to create compelling story lines. It can be a pattern as well as many myths from different cultures throughout history. It isn’t the only method to tell a narrative but, as it has a very ancient lineage; stories based on this model seem to be especially satisfying.

Let’s check out the first 6 Steps in the hero’s journey:

The Ordinary World

Since the target audience usually experiences the Journey over the Hero’s eyes, we have to be able to relate with him. The Ordinary World offers us the chance to identify with the Hero’s urges, drives, as well as problems, and also showing unique features and even flaws that will make him 3-dimensional. The Hero’s Inner and as well Outer Problems can be established, though these could actually change and this depends on the demands from the Journey.

The Call to Adventure

The Call to Adventure sets the story plot moving by interfering with the comfort in the Hero’s Ordinary World, Presenting an issue or quest that need be undertaken. The Call actually throws the Ordinary World off balance, and then sets in the stakes involved incase your challenge is not accepted. Always delivered through the Herald archetype, the Call to Adventure often takes a multitude of forms, including: a note or even announcement (The African Queen), the arrival with the villain (High Noon),  an unexpected storm (Home Alone), a death (Jaws, Some Like it Hot), a man’s dying words (Citizen Kane) and an abduction (Star Wars).

Resistance to the Call

A Hero rejects or refuses the Journey as a result of fears and insecurities which have surfaced from your Call to Adventure. The Hero is just unwilling to make some changes however, prefer the safe haven in the Ordinary World. The Refusal with the Call becomes an important Stage that communicates the hazards involved in the Journey that lies ahead. Without risks and danger or perhaps the likelihood of failure, the target audience will not be compelled becoming a part of the Hero’s Journey.

Meeting the Mentor

A Hero might not actually wish to rush into a Special World blindly and, therefore, seeks the experience and wisdom of somebody who has already been through it before. This Mentor has survived to offer the important lessons as well as the training to better face the Journey’s Tests and Ordeals. The Mentor could be a physical person, or perhaps an object says for instance a map, a logbook, or hieroglyphics. Detective stories and also Westerns, the Hero may hold an Inner Mentor, a large code of honor or even justice which helps to guide him throughout the Journey.

Crossing the Threshold

This signifies that the Hero lastly become committed to the Journey. He is ready to cross the gateway which serves as a separation between the Ordinary World and the Special World.  The Crossing might need more than accepting one’s fears, a map, or possibly a swift activate the rear from your Mentor. The Hero need to confront a conference which forces him to accept entering the Special World, from where there is no reversal or turning back.

Tests, Allies, Enemies

Having crossed the Threshold, the Hero encounters Allies, faces Tests, confronts Enemies, as well as learns the rules of the Special World. This step is vital for Hero and Audience alike. Whether entering the imaginary arena of a future society or emotional in an entire world of romantic love, the Test Stage is our first look with the Special World and just how its conditions and inhabitants contrast while using Hero’s Ordinary World.

As you can already see, this process is somewhat lengthy, but it takes us through a journey we can all identify with and are very familiar with. Famous films like Start Wars, The Matrix, and many more rely on this formula to capture audiences and evoke emotion. Stay tuned for part 2 of the journey.