The Hero’s Journey: A Classic Story Structure

Writing a fascinating story can be difficult, especially if you're new to it. Contrary advice on the internet can make you want to give up before you've even written a single word. But you're smarter than you think. Our lives are saturated with stories. In music, television, video games, books, and movies, we converse, think, and communicate with the story. No matter what kind of story it is or how it is told, every story has a main character who goes on an adventure or quest, faces challenges, and changes because of them.

The hero's journey is a broad story framework popularized by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Every story ever recounted has at least some of the seventeen stages he outlined. Hire a book writing company to complete your hero character and done by experts.

In 1985, Disney hired screenwriter Christopher Vogler to write a memo called "The Practical Guide to Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces," which cut the seventeen steps down to twelve.

The structure of the hero's journey has been used by writers all over the world, including George Lucas, who wrote Star Wars, and Indiana Jones.

"The ideas are older than the pyramids, older than Stonehenge, older than the oldest cave painting," Vogler said of Campbell's works.

Because Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games is a perfect illustration of The Hero's Journey, I use "she" to represent both genders.

The 3 Hero’s Journey Stages

  1. The Departure (Separation)

The heroine is forced to leave her normal life. She may have reservations about this compulsion, and this is where a mentor might help her. Katniss Everdeen, for example, is a caring sister, daughter, and friend. She's an eager hunter, well-versed in the prohibited forest outside District 12, where she and her friend Gale go to feed their family. The Hunger Games, in which only one person lives, loom, and she fears that she or one of her mates will be picked.

  1. Initiation

The heroine enters the other kingdom, where she encounters difficulties. She is sometimes alone, and sometimes she is with a buddy. Perhaps a few. To conquer each difficulty, she must use the resources she has been given in her everyday life. She will be rewarded, possibly physically. She must eventually return to the ordinary world with her reward. The stylist and representative for District 12, Effie Trinket, comes to choose the tributes who will take part in The Hunger Games.

Katniss and her family arrive, and she begs Effie not to draw her name. Her wish is granted, but her younger sister Primrose is chosen instead. start a short article to write about heroes or get article writing services from experts.

Prim is shoved toward the stage by peacekeepers before Katniss volunteers to take her place. Peeta, the baker's son, joins her as a masculine tribute. They have quickly been whisked away for training, followed by the competition.

  1. Return

The hero crosses the barrier back into her normal world, which has changed. She brings the awards with her and puts them to good use For example, Katniss and Peeta are informed that there may be two winners rather than one. To the chagrin of the Capitol, Katniss and Peeta chose to die together or triumph together. They become not just winners but also celebrities. They've changed in unfathomable ways.

The 12 Hero’s Journey Steps (and How to Use Them)


  1. Ordinary World

We want to witness your hero in her everyday life before she is taken to another world. Who is she when no one is looking? What motivates her?

Show her human side, because this sets the tone for the remainder of your story. Make her believable and approachable.

But don't wait too long to get her into big trouble. Give your readers more to keep them flipping the pages once you've given them a reason to care.

For example, Katniss Everdeen is introduced as a troubled adolescent. Her father is no longer alive, her mother is despondent, and Katniss will go to any length to provide for her family and protect her younger sister.

  1. The Call to Adventure

This is the time at which your hero's life will never be the same again. Is she up for the challenge when a problem, challenge, or adventure arises? For instance, in The Reaping, Katniss agrees to take Prim's place.

  1. Refusal of the call

Sometimes a hero comes to a standstill before the adventure begins. She hesitates, unsure of herself, when confronted with difficulty.

She must face her deepest anxieties and press on.

In The Hunger Games, for example, there is no rejection of the call. Katniss takes a bold step forward.

  1. Meeting with the Mentor

The mentor could be a wise older person, a friend, or even something like a letter or map.

The mentor, in whatever form it takes, provides your hero with the tools she needs for the journey, either by motivating her or pushing her in the right way.

For example, Katniss is presented to Haymitch as soon as she accepts the task. He is the only District 12 resident to have ever won The Hunger Games. She is initially unimpressed, but he gradually becomes her most powerful supporter.

  1. Crossing the First Threshold

When your hero musters up the courage to keep going in the final stage of the departure phase, the real adventure starts. There is no going back. By this point, you've introduced your hero and given your readers a reason to care about what happens to her. You should have also mentioned the story's underlying concept.

  • Why is it critical that your hero do this task?
  • What is at stake?
  • What motivates her?


Your hero is laser-focused, but she is about to confront her first challenge. She will face her adversaries and be compelled to form alliances. She will be put to the test and challenged.

Can she pull it off?

What did she discover during the introductory phase?

For example, Katniss meets her enemies for the first time during training. She can watch them to get an idea of how hard things are going to be.

  1. Tests, Allies, and Enemies

In the new world, things have changed. There is danger ahead. Alliances emerge, and pandemonium ensues.

Your hero may first fail the exams she is given, but her transformation begins. She knows how to do her jobs and has the skills to do them, but will she be successful?

The Hunger Games, for example, begin. Tributes come and go. Katniss battles without the use of water or a weapon. Peeta and Rue are her allies (the 12-year-old Tribute from District 11). The most powerful players have illegally spent their youth training for the Hunger Games and have loomed as her adversaries from the outset.

  1. Approach to the Inmost Cave

Your hero is getting close to danger, which is often hidden and sometimes more mental than physical. She must confront her deepest fears over and over again, and she may be tempted to give up. She must dig deep for courage. Katniss is in the arena, and the games are in full swing. There is no way out. She has seen people die and is afraid she will be next. To stay alive, she needs to find water and a weapon.

  1. The Ordeal

Your hero must find a way to keep going until the end, even when things are at their worst and she faces the hardest challenge yet. This could be the end of your book or the most exciting part of the initiation stage. The most difficult portion of her character growth occurs throughout this horrific struggle.

Katniss has to face dying of thirst (if another tribute doesn't kill her first) and every other problem she can think of, including losing Rue, before she finally wins the fight.

  1. Reward (Seizing the Sword)

Your hero survives despite all odds. She's vanquished her foes, slain her dragons, and triumphed, earning the reward.

The plot determines whether her prize is monetary. Regardless, your hero has undergone a complete internal and external makeover.

For example, Peeta and Katniss are alone in the arena; they are told that because they are from the same district, they can both win—or can they?


  1. The Road Back

As she prepares to re-enter the ordinary world, she discovers that the war is far from over. During the initiation stage, she must face the consequences of her actions. She is set to confront her final challenge. For example, let's say the Capitol changes its mind and says that there can only be one winner.

  1. The Resurrection

Your hero faces her ultimate, most dangerous challenge during the finale of your novel.

She might even face death again.

For example, Katniss and Peeta conclude that if they can't win together, no one will. They decide to test the Capitol's resolve by threatening to die together. The Capitol is compelled to admit two winners since they are ready to eat toxic berries.

  1. Return with the Elixir

Your heroine attractively crosses the point back into her daily life. Things are no longer what they used to be.

Her trip has altered her. She carries with her prizes, which can be tangible objects or insight or wisdom. Regardless, this has had an impact on her life in ways she could never have predicted.

As an example, Katniss and Peeta are celebrities who return home. They are given new dwellings, enough food to share, and personal attendants to look after them. Katniss discovers that her disobedience toward the Capitol has sparked a revolution in the hearts of Panem people everywhere.

Hero’s Journey Examples

The hero's journey can be found in many great stories, including Greek mythology and even the Bible. Other instances include:

  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Star Wars
  • Lord of the Rings
  • The Hobbit
  • Indiana Jones
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Jane Eyre
  • Pilgrim’s Progress
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Toy Story

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