On Writing

The Heroes Journey

Here’s something worth getting philosophical about.

John Romaniello has put up a pretty great post on the Heroes Journey.  Head off there and read it now if you’re at all interested in storytelling.

It’s made me want to get a copy of the referenced book, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, but aside from that it’s made me take a bit more of a jaundiced look at Night’s Favour.  I’m not sure whether total compliance with the generic hero’s journey is what I’m after by any means, but there’s probably a recipe in here for good stories.

That’s what it’s all about, after all.

One of the things I’m a bit uncertain about is how the proposed hero’s journey deals with co-operation, though.  Some of the best stories – well, sure, they have a main hero, or a prime point of view, but they also have strong aspects of co-operation.  It’s a weakness of stories like Star Wars that it’s basically a guy swinging a lightsaber and doing it on their own.

Contrast with, say, The Wizard of Oz – where it’s very much a group effort, despite being told from Dorothy’s perspective.  I reckon we can all have our independant heroic journeys, but some of the best stories out there show a group of heroes working together (Avengers says hi).

Not much editing yesterday as I was in bed with a fever of about 200, sweating through the sheets, so perhaps reading this article in that condition wasn’t putting my best foot forward.  Still, it probably added some colour.

See you tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “The Heroes Journey

  1. Something perhaps a bit out of left field on this: I give you “The World Is Saved.”
    http://youtu.be/wBzqOa9y02I

    In my view it’s another take on the hero’s journey, and perhaps why we like reading about it. It’s really hard to save the universe on a daily basis, but stories – legends and myths, games and paperbacks – take us to a place where we can do it, feel it, see it, and believe it.

    In lives that are ordinary, it’s not a wonder we want to feel extraordinary, to feel alive.

    If I can write stories that make people feel like that, I’d be really happy.

    1. Cooperation is the basis of most good stories, and even in thrillers like the ‘Bourne’ series, he gets a few assists from others. So did Odysseus, Jason, Achilles, etc. The true “Man (or Woman) Alone” motif is of a misfit, an often pathological individual with hate in his/her heart, bent on revenge, or the truth-sayer from whom all others distance themselves. Those are less happy stories – you only have to look at the predicament of Julian Assange and Andrew Snowden. Sticking your neck out leaves you exposed: joining forces gives you both strength and momentum.

    2. That’s a nice way of looking at it – I’d like to keep that theme as long as I can pull in or balance the team effect so they’ve got a good reason to be there. They need to be their own people, and maybe get a nice share of the fun times 🙂

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