This is a brief explanation of the 12 steps of the Hero’s Journey.
2. Call to Adventure
The Call is the presentation to the hero to leave the ordinary world and enter a new world.
3. Refusal of the Call
The hero refuses the temptation to leave the ordinary world. This can be by personal choice (Bilbo Baggins) or from a sense of obligation (Luke Skywalker) or the choice can be made for the hero (Will Thatcher, A Knight’s Tale).
4. Meeting of the Mentor
The mentor can come in various forms. It is someone (or a magical helper) who helps the hero take the leap forward.
5. Crossing of the Threshold
At this point in the story, the hero actually leaves the ordinary world behind and enters the new world (Bilbo literally walks through the doorway of his Hobbit hole, leaving his home behind). The hero leaves what he/she knows behind for the unknown adventure ahead.
6. The Road of Trials (Tests, Allies, & Enemies)
This is the bulk of the 2nd Act in the 3 Act structure. The hero faces a variety of tests, each of which help him/her grow and begin the transformation from ordinary person to hero. There are successes and failures, as well as friends and enemies met along the way. The power of three is a tool used in this section of the story.
7. Approach to the Inmost Cave
The hero will face a major test (turning point) during which all he/she has learned will be put to use. The hero may experience setbacks and failures at this point, but rebuilds and becomes stronger through the process.
8. Central Ordeal
A major battle occurs (turning point). We are still in Act II, and this is the second major turning point happens. The hero uses all the tools s/he has gained on the journey and succeeds.
If there is a physical object the hero has been after, s/he takes possession of it (the witch’s broomstick in The Wizard of Oz). Or, the reward can be succeeding in the battle.
10. The Road Back
The battle is complete. The hero begins the journey back to his/her ordinary world.
The Resurrection is akin to the Climax in the 3 Act Structure. The Central Ordeal was a false win. THIS is the true test of the hero’s mettle. What the hero thought was the final battle was not, in fact, the final battle. Now it is life or death. This is the moment of transformation. The ordinary person is fully resurrected as a hero.
12. Return With the Elixir
The hero has succeeded in winning the final battle. The transformation is complete. Now the hero is the master of the ordinary world and the new world. The hero returns home a hero. S/he is no longer the same person as before.
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