Posts tagged "meeting with the mentor"

The Hero’s Journey: Departure Part 5: Crossing the Threshold






Introduction

At this point in the Hero’s Journey, the hero is teetering on the edge between the ordinary world, and the special world. He’s crossing the threshold, and he’s about to start his adventure. He has already heard the call, and expressed all of his doubts and fears. Now, he should be ready to move on, and commit himself completely to the journey ahead.

Crossing the Threshold

This is the most critical action the hero will take in the Departure phase, where he illustrates that he’s completely committed to the journey ahead. Even that he may be willing to sacrifice himself to complete it.

Approaching the Threshold

The hero won’t usually charge head on into the adventure right after he’s done meeting with the mentor. There final commitment is usually brought on by some turning point in the story that affirms to the hero that the journey has to be fulfilled. There are a number of things that may trigger this, usually some sort of tragic event. For instance, the villain may ravage the city, or kidnap/kill someone the hero loves.

It may be an internal event that pushes them forward. The hero may ask himself “Can I go on living this way? Or can I risk everything I have for the possibility of change?”

Threshold Guardians

As the hero is attempting to cross, he may encounter beings that will attempt to stop him. These are called the Threshold Guardians. They may show up at any point in the story to try and block the hero from moving forward. Usually, they’re a testing or training point for the hero. Another part of his development.

The hero must figure out how to get past these figures, and continue on. Their threat is often just an illusion, and the hero must ignore them and push through. Sometimes they just need to be acknowledged, and other times, they may become allies later.

Crossing Over

This step is where the hero acknowledges that he has reached the border between two worlds. He must take the leap of faith, and go on, or the adventure may never begin. (Or it may result in tragedy, because the hero is afraid to take a deep breath and move on.) The Crossing can be symbolized by a number of things (even a gate, or a cliff), but the audience should sense a notable shift in energy.

After the hero makes his leap of faith, there is no turning back. This action is irrevocable, and he has no choice but to cross his fingers that he’ll land safely.

 

For more information, try reading:

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

or

Joseph Campbell – The Hero’s Journey

 

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Posted by forgotmypen - April 18, 2012 at 9:07 pm

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

The Hero’s Journey: Departure Part 4: Meeting with the Mentor






Introduction:

The mentor represents a wise figure whose purposes include protecting, teaching, testing, guiding, and training the hero. In meeting with the mentor, he provides the hero with something he needs to take on the Hero’s Journey, sometimes multiple times. In meeting with the mentor, the hero gains the knowledge, confidence, and supplies that he needs in order to start the adventure.

Meeting with the Mentor

There are a lot of stories that tell of the relationship between the hero and the mentor. Mentor’s hold a vital force during the key moments of the hero’s story.

Sources of Wisdom

In some cases, there may not be a specific character playing the role of the mentor. If this is the case, the hero almost always needs to find some source of wisdom before he takes on the adventure. This may involve the hero finding wisdom within himself, or they may simply consult a map of the adventure. Either way, your hero will (or should) want to know exactly what he’s taking on.

Avoiding the Cliched Mentor

The mentor archetype is a character that the audience will be extremely familiar with. The mentor appears in dozens upon dozens of stories. For this reason, it’s very easy to let your mentor become cliche, or fall into a stereotype. So, defy the typical archetype. Don’t allow your mentor to become a fairy godmother, or an old man in a pointy hat. Make your mentor completely out of the norm, or do without him altogether and see what happens.

Conflict Between Hero and Mentor

If the hero is ungrateful, or prone to violence, the relationship between the hero and the mentor can take a turn for the worst. Other times, the mentor becomes the villain and betrays the hero. If utilized correctly, this can be an interesting turning point in the story.

Critical Influence

The mentor has a strong influence on the hero’s decisions, if only for a short time. Sometimes, the mentor only has a passing influence, but this influence is critical to get the hero moving and undertaking the journey ahead of him. Whether presented as a character, or not, this archetype is critical to get the story moving.

 

For more information, try reading:

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

or

Joseph Campbell – The Hero’s Journey

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Posted by forgotmypen - April 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm

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