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)
This is a total expression of the Hero's Ordinary World and Ordinary Self. It is a benchmark. In Tsotsi (2005), Tsotsi is part of a criminal gang, which is something he will leave behind by the end of the story. In Get Carter (1971- the superior version with Michael Caine), we discover in the first scene that Jack Carter's Outer Challenge is to discover who killed his brother, his Inner Challenge is to escape from his criminal associates / past and his Romantic Challenge is to wrestle Britt Ekland away from the mob boss.
*****First Trial Inner Cave - No Going Back*****
A number of things happen in the Inner Cave of the First Trial. One element is the No Going Back. In Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Blanche wants out but Buck (and therefore she) can't get out because he has killed a man.