Hero's Journey - The Herald
Beyond three and four act story structure, lies the Hero's Journey.
The Hero's Journey is the most usable story structure consisting of at least 106 stages and the template for successful contemporary stories, from Star Wars to Al Pacino Scarface to The Incredibles to War of the Worlds to The Dirty Dozen to Midnight Cowboy.
The Hero's Journey is a valuable template because:
a) It attempts to tap into unconscious expectations the audience has regarding what a story is and how it should be told.
b) It gives the writer more structural elements than simply three or four acts, plot points, mid point and so on.
c) Interpreted metaphorically and symbolically, it allows an infinite number of varied stories to be created.
One interesting stage of the Hero's Journey is that of the Herald, not the Hero.
Once the Call to Adventure is realised, a Herald sets off to find a Hero.
It is likely that the Herald may not want to embark on the journey and may resist somehow. There will be debates between Hawks and Doves about he value of sending the Herald, but nevertheless, the Herald will be pulled into the journey, or pushed into it in some way.
The Herald will set off in the dead of night and aware that the antagonist may be displeased, if he finds out. The antagonists may send his armies to prevent the Herald from seeking the Hero.
The Herald's Journey is naturally dangerous (being pursued by the antagonist's armies may add to the danger). If the Herald's are more than one, they will normally conflict along the way, may be separated and one may perish.
Not long into the story (as this is about the Hero), the Herald's will find themselves in the Hero's Ordinary World - this could be totally down to chance - and it is not unusual for the Hero not to recognise the Herald's as bringers of a message that will alter his future.
In fact, it is likely that certain obstacles will interfere with the Sacred Meeting between the Hero and Herald...
The 106 stage Hero's Journey and other story structure templates can be found at http://www.managing-creativity.com/
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Kal Bishop, MBA
You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained.
Kal Bishop is a management consultant based in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. He can be reached on http://www.managing-creativity.com/
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