The Hero’s Journey
How to use Joseph Campbell’s Concept in His Real Story
The Hero’s Journey is a concept inspired by the book “The Hero of a Thousand Faces,” authored by the mythology expert Joseph Campbell.
Also known as the monomyth, this structure is used by writers and screenwriters to create compelling and engaging stories about a character.
Its application is quite common in the worlds of literature, cinema, and advertising.
What few people may know is that you can also use the general concept in nonfiction writing, such as biographies or autobiographies.
This article explains how to use the Hero’s Journey concept in writing your real story.
First, you must understand what the Hero’s Journey concept says.
According to Joseph Campbell, there is a familiar and cyclical script to all the stories lived by a character (that is why it is called monomyth).
First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him.
This structure briefly involves three stages. The departure (is where the journey starts). The Initiation (where the character faces the Challenges-‘initiate steps). And the Return (When the character overcomes challenges and comes back victorious).
Stages of the Hero’s Journey
In the beginner phase, the hero (the main character, protagonist) finds himself in his daily life and receives a “call.” This call is something that takes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to change your life. In real stories, these are events such as a job’s loss, grief, diagnosis of an illness, change of country, etc.
Initiation, Through Challenges.
It is the “call to adventure.”
At this moment, the character faces the challenges that accompany the departure from ordinary life. For instance, in the case of losing a job, the stage may be represented by a difficulty in getting back into the job market. In the example of the change of country, it may be accompanied by unforeseen problems that cause the character to completely change plans. Regardless of the type of call, this phase of the journey involves a trial path that our hero needs to go through.
After going through all the tests and challenges, the character returns to a state of equilibrium at the original point. But this time, he/she is transformed.
This happens after the solidification of learnings provided by the test path. The character leaves the adventure modified, transformed, and free to apply everything he has learned in his new life.
Memoirs and the Hero’s Journey
How to Use the Hero’s Journey in My Real Story?
Now that you already know a summary of the widespread concept, I ask: can you fit it in an episode of your life or the story of who you want to tell?
Writing biographies and autobiographies are nothing more than the naked and raw Hero’s Journey. Every human being goes through calls, challenges, and events that transform him.
The great insight that comes when are writing about a real character story is to identify each of the stages of the Hero’s Journey. The creative part comes when you apply them in the construction of your narrative.
You can divide the story into phases and use thought-provoking phrases and words. These can make the reader understand that it is a real adventure lived by the person. The journey (the story in itself) will be the cause of learning and transformation. There are so many ways to be creative and inspired.
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