First Three Steps in the Hero’s Journey

The first three steps in the Hero’s Journey are:

Heroes are introduced in the ORDINARY WORLD, where…

they receive the CALL TO ADVENTURE.

They are RELUCTANT at first or REFUSE THE CALL, but…

1. Heroes are introduced in the ORDINARY WORLD, where…

We meet Dorothy in Kansas, Luke Skywalker on an uncle’s farm where he isn’t very happy. The adult Jesus is a carpenter in Nazareth.

This is the time to lay out the hero’s problems, both inner and outer. Here the writer raises the dramatic questions. Most important is to meet the hero in his/her ordinary world.

2. where they receive the CALL TO ADVENTURE.

The robot R2D2(no it was 3PO) comes to Luke and says Princess Leah is in trouble. Jesus gets a call from God in the Jordan River. King Kong begins with — “It’s money and adventure and fame! It’s the thrill of a life time!…and a long sea voyage that starts at six o’clock tomorrow!”

Often a herald comes on scene and announces trouble. Something’s wrong with the world. The story gets rolling.

3. They are RELUCTANT at first or REFUSE THE CALL, but…

Jesus goes off to the desert for 40 days and 40 nights to get courage for his mission.
“You’re not cut out for this, Joan, and you know it.” – Romancing the Stone. Threshold Guardians appear and try to dissuade the hero from action. Eddie Murphy’s Detroit police boss gets upset when Eddie tells him he has to go here or there to save a friend.

Until I learned this, my heroes would always plunged willingly into the action. It makes a much better story if they are reluctant to get involved.

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