The 188 stage Hero's Journey (Monomyth) is the template upon which the vast majority of successful stories and Hollywood blockbusters are based upon. In fact, ALL of the hundreds of Hollywood movies we have deconstructed (see URL below) are based on this 188+ stage template.
Understanding this template is a priority for story or screenwriters. This is the template you must master if you are to succeed in the craft.
[The terminology is most often metaphoric and applies to all successful stories and screenplays, from The Godfather (1972) to Brokeback Mountain (2006) to Annie Hall (1977) to Lord of the Rings (2003) to Drugstore Cowboy (1989) to Thelma and Louise (1991) to Apocaplyse Now (1979)].
THERE IS ONLY ONE STORY
THE 188 STAGE HERO'S JOURNEY:
a) Attempts to tap into unconscious expectations the audience has regarding what a story is and how it should be told.
b) Gives the writer more structural elements than simply three or four acts, plot points, mid point and so on.
c) Gives you a tangible process for building and releasing dissonance (establishing and achieving catharses, of which there are usually four).
d) Tells you what to write. For example, at a certain stage of the story, the focus should be on the Call to Adventure and the micro elements within.
ABRIDGED TIPS, EXCERPTS AND EXAMPLES:
(simply go to http://www.heros-journey.info/ for full details)
*****Middle Cave Trial*****
The Middle Cave, whichever it is (First Threshold, Road of Trials or beyond) is where the Hero confronts Allies and Enemies. A Trial is not unusual. In Straw Dogs (1971), David finds it hard to work, drives to town and is nearly involved in a car accident, which he skillfully avoids.
The Hero consciously agrees to Journey and Transform, post the Unbearable Antagonism. Methods include:
Explicit Statement. An Explicit Statement or Declaration of Intent is heard. In The Matrix (1999), Neo has a choice between the blue and red pill. In Star Wars (1977), Luke explicitly states that he wants to join Obi Wan and become a Jedi Knight like his father.
Implicit Statement. Even if the Hero is unwilling, the Explicit Statement may be implicit in the Hero's action. In Gladiator (2000), Maximus' family has been brutally murdered. He will seek revenge.