WFMAD Day 13 – Hero’s Journey, Part 1

(Today’s goal for me – write blog before painting.)

Do you know about the Hero’s Journey model of storytelling? It was popularized by Joseph Campbell in his book, The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Briefly, Campbell found common mythical elements in many stories across countless cultures. (Note – the chart I’ve linked to needs to be read counter-clockwise.) Not all stories follow this pattern, of course. Some follow parts of it, others blaze their own path.

It’s fun to see how some of our most beloved stories can be analyzed for their Hero’s Journey elements. Like The Fellowship of the Ring, for example. Or Harry Potter (be sure to click through to subsequent pages). Or Bridge to Terabithia!

You see where I’m going with this, right?

Ready… watch this video about the Hero’s Journey, as seen through the television series, LOST.

Set… “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” Joseph Campbell

Today’s prompt: Compare the structure of your current Work In Progress to the Hero’s Journey. Any gaps, holes, questions that need to be answered?


Write out a fast and messy idea for a quest story. Character needs (fill in the blank) ______________, and has to go through (another blank) ____________trials and tribulations to get it. Have fun! Be absurd! The point is to think about this structure as a possible framework to hang part or all of a book on one day.

Scribble… Scribble…. Scribble…

One Reply to “WFMAD Day 13 – Hero’s Journey, Part 1”

  1. Great! I suck at plotting and actually used the Hero’s Journey for the outline for my contemporary WIP. I need to use your advice and go back over the journey since I changed/added to the last quarter of the book.
    Happy painting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.