If you’re at all interested in story structure and plot development, odds are you’ve heard of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. It’s a breakdown of myths and legends and relates all stories to this one central flow.

According to Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings (which is a wonderful resource you should visit to and donate to here):

…his seminal theory outlining the common journey of the archetypal hero across a wealth of ancient myths from around the world. Campbell’s monomyth model has since been applied to everything from the lives of great artists to pop-culture classics like Star Wars.

One of the more well-known applications of this structure is Dan Harmon’s Story Circle, a tool he’s used to write everything from Community to Rick & Morty.

DanHarmon's BasicModelForStoryStructure

Here we go, down and dirty:

1. A character is in a zone of comfort. 2. But they want something. 3. They enter an unfamiliar situation. 4. Adapt to it. 5. Get what they wanted 6. Pay a heavy price for it 7. Then return to their familiar situation 8. Having changed.

TED Ed assembled a marvelous video, narrated by Matthew Winkler, to explain the hero’s journey every heroic character goes on when they begin their journey.

If you know it, you know it.

If you don’t, well, welcome to the club of Over-Analyzing Movie and Book Audience. We meet twice a week and discuss how crazy it is that Harry Potter is basically the same person as Luke Skywalker and how The Last Jedi was probably the best thing that ever happened to Luke.

How does this fit into the overall theme of this landing page? Well, it’s how I learn to be a better writer and this is how I learn. It’s my online notebook.

Thanks for reading,

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