I was reminded of Joseph Campbell’s famous observation when I stumbled across this Ted-Ed. Inspired, I decided to revisit my own writing and create a work that goes through each step of the journey. After all, if it worked for Homer, Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and many others, why can’t it work for me?
The video is a great introduction and this article at The Writer’s Journey describes it in more detail.
What I love about the Hero’s Journey is its simplicity, and yet in the hands of a masterful story-teller like Tolkien, its simple structure can be expanded to many hundreds of pages, encompassing dozens of characters, locations, and themes, all within one grand adventure.
Take Stranger Things, for example. It starts with some nerdy boys going to school (ordinary world) that are called to action when their friend goes missing. One of the friends refuses the call, trying to push the journey to the police, but they follow their mentor (Eleven) and cross the threshold to the Special World.
That’s as far as I’ve gotten in the series, but I am certain there will bee tests, allies, enemies, ordeals, rewards, and returning before the series in over.
This model has proven useful to professional writers again and again, so let’s use it in our own adventures.