The Hero's Journey - A Novel Writer's Best Friend

I've written about The Hero's Journey before, but I like it so much I'm going to write about it again, and it deserves to be revisited often, so it stays fresh in your mind.

For those of you that are going: "The Hero's What?" You are about to find out possibly the most important backbone of writing a decent novel. Or possible you're about to discover the monomyth has an alternative name.

It's a series of steps that are there to a greater or lesser extent in the majority of successful novels, and the steps go roughly like this:

1. Introduction to the hero's world
2. Call to action
3. Crossing the Threshold
4. Meet the Mentor
5. First challenge
6. Temptation
7. Dark inner moment
8. Final battle
9. The return home

(The hero's journey is an intrinsic part of our novel writing guide and novel writing software)

Each of these stages can be represented by a whole range of things from the epic to the trivial. And don't make the mistake of thinking that it only applies to fantasy adventure stories, just because of the word 'hero'. All stories have a hero at their centre, though they may be called a protagonist.

Of course, not all stories will follow the hero's journey, there are no absolutes in anything as creative as novel writing, but there is a reason the sections have been used in popular stories since ancient times, and continue to be recognisable in the latest blockbusters.

A really great exercise is to find some of your favourite books or movies and see if you can spot the elements of the hero's journey in them. See how the experts have interpreted the mentor, or the temptation.

Here's a sample from Harry Potter:

1. Introduction to the hero's world - Harry's life with his nasty relatives
2. Call to action - the invitation to Hogwarts
3. Crossing the Threshold - the train journey
4. Meet the Mentor - Dumbledore - who else?
5. First challenge - The Troll in the toilet
6. Temptation - Harry becomes addicted to the mirror's vision and longs for his parents
7. Dark inner moment - Harry discovers that the stone is in danger and Dumbledore isn't there to help them.
8. Final battle - the three trials and confrontation with Voldemort
9. The return home - Return to the Dursleys house, but this time with better conditions and prospects.

Please do tell me about examples of the hero's journey you've found in your books and movies!

Also, if you're writing a novel and would like to have information and tips like this at just the right point as you develop your craft and write your novel, then visit our novel writing software website, and download a free trial of our novel writing software.