My heroes in former plots always took on the challenge of the story. They never hesitated, but plunged right into amazing adventures. Since learning of Joseph Campbell’s work in mythology and some of his ideas applied to writing, I do something different.
Now my heroes hesitate. They are reluctant or they refuse the first call to action. This makes for a better story. This is step 3 in the hero’s journey. (See below) Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and nights to pray for strength to fulfill his mission. Also this is a time to foreshadow the events to come. “I don’t want to rescue the princess, because I might meet a dragon etc. etc.”
If you’re not familiar with the hero’s journey, consult Christopher Vogler’s book, The Writer’s Journey.
- Heroes are introduced in the ORDINARY WORLD, where
- they receive the CALL TO ADVENTURE.
- They are RELUCTANT at first or REFUSE THE CALL, but
- Are encouraged by a MENTOR to
- CROSS THE FIRST THRESHOLD and enter the Special World, where
- they encounter TESTS, ALLIES, AND ENEMIES.
- They APPROACH THE INMOST CAVE, crossing a second threshold
- where they endure the ORDEAL
- They take possession of their REWARD and
- are pursued on THE ROAD BACK to the Ordinary World.
- They cross the third threshold, experience a RESSURECTION and are transformed by the experience.
- They RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR, a boon or treasure to benefit the Ordinary World.
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