Why your Book should follow The Hero’s Journey

The hero's journey is one of the most well-known plots. Although it has been around since the very beginning of story-telling, it wasn't given an official name until Joseph Campbell. His rendition, made famous with his book, 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces' described seventeen stages every myth travels through.

The version used today, however, has been simplified and converted to fit almost every work of fiction.

 

What is the Hero's Journey?

The Hero's Journey outlines eight specific phases your main character goes through:

  1. Ordinary Life
  2. Call to Adventure
  3. Training from the Mentor
  4. Separation from Purpose and/or Mentor
  5. Lowest Point
  6. Returns with new purpose
  7. Achieves Objective
  8. Returns Changed

In a traditional novel, the character progresses through all eight stages and transitions from an ordinary person to the hero.

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The Hero's Journey Is a Necessary Part of the Novel Writing Process

Certain story tropes survive the test of time because they work. The heroes journey can be seen in Star Wars, Harry Potter- and even in ancient myths. People enjoy reading the story of a hero. They want to witness an ordinary person overcome insurmountable odds and return changed. These stories are enjoyable to read, and they give your reader a deeper connection to the characters.

The best part is that this process doesn't have to be cliche. There are ways to embrace the expected tropes without making your story predictable. (Consider Ulrik in Magic Made. Even though he teaches Cole to use the magic, he doesn't follow the traditional mentor role.) Embrace and alter the elements of the hero's journey to fit the needs of your story. Consider the decisions and trials that will affect your characters, and align your story with this process- it will make your book more endearing and enjoyable to your readers.

 

Keep on Writing!

Ashley Hayes

How to develop Believable, Three Dimensional Characters

Character Development.

That one word can make or break your writing. Powerful, believable characters can carry a story and excite readers. Unfortunately, bland, confusing, or contradictory characters can destroy your story entirely. Just one quick search on Google will give you plenty of character questionnaires or forms to fill out, all promising to help you discover your character. Unfortunately, no matter how well you know your character's eye or hair color, you still need to ask yourself the difficult questions: how does your character react in a crisis? What motivates them most? And what lengths will they go to in order to succeed?

The hardest part, though, isn't answering those questions: it's making sure that every decision, action, and motivation aligns with who your character is.

To create believable characters, try using a personality test.

 

Just like real life, characters are predictable. Good characters-the kinds that make strong stories' have realistic motivations, goals, and behaviors.

Luckily, psychologists have been able to map certain personalities. These personalities often work for real people, and they will work for your characters too.

My favorite personality test is the Myers-Briggs test. This test describes 16 different personalities. The test is free, and offers an in-depth description of each personality.

So what characters are you working on? Take the test, and answer the questions the way you think your character would. Figure out more about them, and add the small quirks you find into your writing. All of these small details will help you create a believable, three-dimensional character that your readers will fall in love with.

 

Keep on Writing!

Ashley Hayes