Friday, June 22, 2007

Hero's Journey, Monomyth (188 Stages of) - Old World and New Self


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)].



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.


(simply go to for full details)

*****Fear of the Return to the Ordinary World*****

The Hero - willing and unwilling - often lives in fear of the return to the Ordinary World and the Ordinary Self. In Star Wars (1977), Luke never wants to go back to Tattooine. In Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Bonnie wakes up afraid that Clyde is not there. Even seemingly unwilling Heroes do not return to the same place - the Journey has given them a new capacity and transformed them into a New Self. In The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Andy does not return home but goes to Mexico.

*****Leaving behind a tangible of the Old Self*****

With a goodbye of the Old Self, we see the Hero leave behind a tangible part of his old self. In Brokeback Mountain (2005), Valerie sees Ennis in the café. She leaves.

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