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For the more adventurous writers

The Steps in the Hero's Journey

'The Hero’s Journey' written by Joseph Campbell outlines the stages of the hero in the world of myth. Those stages can usually be found in some form in most stories as well shaped characters are transformed by the experiences they have during the telling of a story.

Here they are:

A. Departure
1. The Call to Adventure
The call to adventure is the first point at which a person (character) gets a sense that life is about to change.
2. Refusal of the Call
The character may refuse this call for any number of reasons – fear, obligation to a loved one, a sense of inadequacy.
3. Supernatural Aid
During the period of uncertainty the hero may become aware of other worldly assistance….wisdom of a departed loved one, a talisman or even a ghostly being.
4. The Crossing of the First Threshold
When the hero accepts the call there is no turning back and life will never be the same…the equilibrium is disturbed.
5. The Belly of the Whale
This is the most distressing and frightening stage of the journey because the hero separates from the known world. The hero is in transition from one world to another, one experience to another, one situation to another. It can be highly emotional and this moment will shape the hero’s character going forward.
B. Initiation
1. The Road of Trials
The hero enters a world where he or she is faced by a number of tests. Sometimes he or she fails.
2. The Meeting with the Goddess
A character discovers a love that is greater than anything the hero has ever known….this can be love of another or deeper understanding of self. It is a moment of transformation.
3. Woman as the Temptress
In this case Woman is a metaphor for the physical or material temptations of life, and the temptations that threaten to deter him or her from the quest.
4. Atonement with the Father
The character faces the demons and overcomes them. These can come in the form of people (the enemy) or in the form of an emotional force. As these are overpowered there is a moment of reconciliation with a higher force, a moment when understanding occurs.
5. Apotheosis
The hero rests before beginning the return.
6. The Ultimate Boon
This is the moment when the object of desire, the reason the adventurer set out on the quest, is achieved. There may be some kind of ritual associated with this moment.
C. Return
1. Refusal of the Return
After all that the hero has been through the hero may not wish to return to life as it was.
2. The Magic Flight
The adventure of achieving the ‘new’ kind of normality can be as challenging as the quest.
3. Rescue from Without
This may be a time when the hero is given assistance, especially if the hero is wounded in some way.
4. The Crossing of the Return Threshold
Here the challenge is to keep the wisdom the hero has gained and to share it with the world the hero left. Often this is difficult.
5. Master of the Two Worlds
In myth, this step is usually represented by a transcendental hero like Jesus or Buddha. For a human hero, it may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual.
6. Freedom to Live
Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. This is sometimes referred to as living in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past.

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