Posts tagged "hero’s journey steps"

The Hero’s Journey: Initiation Part 4: The Reward


The hero has now overcome one of the hardest parts of the Hero’s Journey, the Ordeal. He is now able to claim the Reward, and he deserves it. He has just encountered death, so he must face the consequences, and reap the rewards.

The Reward

At this point in the story, the hero will finally receive recognition for overcoming death and the Ordeal. The Reward has many purposes, and takes many forms.


After surviving a challenge like the Ordeal, it’s natural to want to celebrate. He probably feels exhausted, and seeks relaxation and replenishment. The hero(s) may celebrate with a large meal or something similar. The celebration will provide a way to refuel before the return journey, which may prove to be fairly stressful.


The Reward part of the Hero’s Journey is a great place for a love scene. In this point of the story, the hero has truly surfaced, and undergone a beneficial character arc. He truly deserves love, he’s earned it.

Taking Possession

In this point of the story, the hero should have whatever it is they went out seeking. Whether that be self-respect, or a pot of gold, it will now be in the hero’s possession.


The reward the hero went out seeking isn’t always handed to him. He may have had to steal it, which could result in repercussions later on in the journey.


Once the hero emerges from the Ordeal, he will be recognized as special, or different. He is now a person who as managed to overcome, or outwit, death.

Better Perception

After surviving death, the hero will see the world through new eyes. His perception of things will be different, and often a little more clear. He’ll better appreciate life, and see things for what they are. He’ll likely have better judgement in future challenges.


Along with having better perception, the hero may have gained better insight. He’ll have more talent in the way of seeing through deception, and determining the truth. The reward part of the journey can serve as a moment of clarity for the hero, especially if he has, or is, being deceived. This may occur is he’s traveling with the Shapeshifter, a less-than-beneficial character archetype.


Sometimes, the hero may not only experience better perception and insight, but he may also become clairvoyant or telepathic. He’ll be more intuitive, and more aware of the connectivity of things.


This part is important. The hero will begin to understand things about himself, who he really is, and who he wants to be. He’ll figure out where he fits in the large scheme of things.


In some stories, the hero may not experience perception/insight/clairvoyance/self-realization at all. In fact, the world around him may begin to feel distorted. The hero could become arrogant, and fail to really perceive anything at all. He may abuse his new found power, and become the very thing he was trying to fight in the first place.


For more information, try reading:

The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition


Joseph Campbell – The Hero’s Journey

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Posted by forgotmypen - May 13, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Categories: Character Development, Story Development   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Hero’s Journey: Departure Part 3: Refusal of the Call


In the Refusal of the Call, the hero has to decide whether or not he wants to accept the call. This should be a difficult decision for him, he’s being asked to enter into a great unknown. To undertake an adventure that’s riddled with danger. At first, his answer will probably be no.

Refusal of the Call

This temporary refusal alerts the audience that the adventure ahead will be risky. The hero is gambling with his life and his fortune by taking on this journey. This part of the story will force the hero to examine the adventure carefully, and decide if it’s really worth it.


Believe it or not, it’s natural for the hero to at first avoid the call, or at least to express reluctance. This reluctance should continue until some kind of stronger motivation comes into play. This could be the death of a loved one, the hero’s sense of honor, or love of adventure.


The hero will have a number of excuses as to why he’s refusing the call. They basically state that they would take on the adventure were it not for a pressing series of events (that may or may not exist). These are temporary excuses that are usually worn away by the urgency of the quest.

Persistent Refusal and Disaster

If the hero persistently refuses the call, it could lead to disaster. Continued refusal is one sign of a tragic hero. The situation around the hero can become worse and worse, until he finally decides to take up his calling. He may lose loved ones, face the destruction of the city, and more.

Conflicting Calls

If the hero is facing more than one call, he may have to choose between them. The Refusal of the Call is the time for the hero to delegate between two difficult choices.

Positive Refusal

The refusal is usually a negative moment in the Hero’s Journey. However, the refusal may sometimes be a positive or wise decision. Sometimes the call takes the form of temptation, or an evil summons. In this case, the best move on the hero’s part is to say no.

Willing Heroes

While many heroes will express reluctance, there are some that will show a complete willingness to take on the adventure. This hero might have already passed his fear of death, or he might simply yearn for adventure.

Threshold Guardians

If the hero does in face accept the call, there’s a character archetype that might further hinder him. These are called the threshold guardians. These characters are powerful figures that will question the hero, and raise fear and doubt. They will do what they can to test the hero’s worthiness for the quest before it even begins.


For more information, try reading:

The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition


Joseph Campbell – The Hero’s Journey

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Posted by forgotmypen - April 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Categories: Character Development, Story Development   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Hero’s Journey: Departure Part 2: Call to Adventure


The Call to Adventure is the second part of The Hero’s Journey, where the adventure is initiated. It has also been called the Inciting event, initiating incident, trigger, or catalyst. Regardless of what you call it, something  has to happen to get the story moving. There are a number of ways that the Call to Adventure can occur. These methods can range from a message/messenger to some kind of disastrous event that forces the hero to take action.

Call to Adventure

There are a number of events that might move the hero into action. Those events may not even be caused by outside forces. It might be a desire that’s boiling inside the main character. Because of this, choosing the right event is key.

String of Events

A series of events/accidents may force your character into action. Most of these events/actions/words/accidents will be coincidental, and will inspire your character to take on the adventure.


Temptation might be just the right element to get your hero to take action. Temptation could include the lure of a lover, treasure, knowledge, or exploration. The desire for something might be just the thing your character needs to start his adventure.

The Herald

The Call is often delivered to the hero by a character archetype called the Herald. Regardless of the Herald’s personality, he’ll always perform the same role. It’s the Herald’s job to initiate the call to adventure, and to get the story moving. A lot of the time, the hero doesn’t realize that there’s any need for change in his Ordinary World. He remains in a state of denial, and relies on crutches that he doesn’t see to stay happy. The Herald is present to kick away those crutches, and make the hero realize that he’s actually unstable. The hero will often have a difficult time in the beginning determining if the herald is good or bad.


Sometimes the Call to Adventure occurs because of the villain. The villain might invade the Ordinary World and start asking questions about the hero, or survey the area for any threats. This can sometimes alert the hero, forcing him into action.

Lack or Need

Sometimes the Call appears in the form of a lack or a need. This lack can come from the loss of anything precious, and the need to get that precious thing back.

No Options

The hero may take on the adventure because he doesn’t have any other options. The situation might become increasingly dire, until the hero just doesn’t have any choice but to take on the adventure. People in his world may even become fed up with him, and force him out.

Tragic Heroes

For Tragic Hero’s, the Call may not be a positive summons, drawing the character out. It may instead come in the form of a warning of the Hero’s demise, a failed adventure, or doom.

Multiple Call’s

Because stories often have a number of layers, or a certain amount of complexity… they may contain more then one Call. If necessary, don’t be afraid to include more then one. Do what you have to to get the hero out of his comfort zone.


For more information, try reading:

The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition


Joseph Campbell – The Hero’s Journey

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Posted by forgotmypen - April 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Categories: Character Development, Story Development   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,