The Hero’s Journey Recipe 4.0 📖
12 Stages of Character & Story Arc Development
Credit to Joseph Campbell, Author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Run the Recipe Below
Produced by: GenAIUniversity.com
In 1949, mythologist Joseph Campbell published The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which outlines the structure of the journeys that archetypal heroes experience in world myths.
This structure became known as the monomyth, or Hero’s Journey, and has since served as the framework behind many popular speculative fiction books and films, including Star Wars, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and The Lord of the Rings.
The goal of this outline is to create a sense of relatability in the hero’s story. The hero should act as a beacon of hope because of his struggles, and the transformation of the hero is what makes the story inspiring for others on a similar path.
PRO TIP: The Hero’s Journey doubles as a framework for non-fiction authors, marketers, and business owners to better understand their readers and customers. In turn, this understanding helps the author or brand communicate their message more effectively by adding clarity to where their audience is now and where they want to be.
Here’s a layout of each stage of The Hero’s Journey with a description for your reference. When downloading the recipe into your account, you can do a quick search for pronouns and [Character] and adjust them to line up with your character.
The ultimate prize that he receives may be literal or figurative. It might be a cause for celebration, self-awareness, or the end of the conflict, but whatever it is, it represents three things: change, success, and proof of his journey. The Hero’s doubters will be ostracized; his foes chastised; his allies rewarded. His rewards may be material, they may take the form of a new prize or status, or he might even experience a spiritual change that was unknown to him before his journey began.
[Hero] = Alex
[World] = Small town in the 1980s
[Goal] = Become a famous musician
[Call] = Gets opportunity to audition for a talent competition
[Mentor] = High school music teacher
[Threshold] = Taking a bus to the big city audition
[Tests] = Facing rejection, struggling to make ends meet
[Ordeal] = Being cheated by a manager, losing all money
[Reward] = Meeting kind strangers who believe in her talent
[Return] = Coming home more mature and committed to music
[Hero]: Indie filmmakers and YouTubers on a budget
[World]: The VFX licensing industry is expensive and time-consuming to navigate as a small creator. Most options are pay-per-effect.
[Goal]: Save money and time acquiring VFX without sacrificing quality.
[Call]: Can't afford high VFX costs for their productions or waste time assembling effects individually.
[Mentor]: VFX licensing company's educational content and value proposition positions subscription offer as solution.
[Threshold]: Signing up for a free trial of the VFX subscription.
[Tests]: Learning to navigate the platform interface and VFX library. Figuring out workflow.
[Ordeal]: Integrating subscribed VFX into their production pipelines has some technical challenges.
[Reward]: Huge library of VFX readily available speeds up productions significantly and reduces costs.
[Return]: Completing more high quality productions on budget and on time. Scaling productions.
[Hero]: The name of your hero character.
[World]: Describe the ordinary world where your story begins. What time period or location?
[Goal]: What is your hero trying to achieve or become? What is their ambition?
[Call]: What event or challenge disrupts your hero's ordinary world and compels them to start their journey?
[Mentor]: Who is the mentor figure who prepares your hero for the journey ahead?
[Threshold]: What threshold does your hero cross to enter the new world or start their real adventure?
[Tests]: What kinds of tests and trials will your hero face? Who are their allies and enemies?
[Ordeal]: What supreme ordeal does your hero face? Their ultimate test.
[Reward]: What reward does the hero gain that transforms them? An object, knowledge, wisdom?
[Return]: How is the hero transformed when they return with this reward?
// Define commands intro =>"Introduce the hero in their ordinary world before the journey begins. Describe their homeland, daily life, personality, goals and struggles."
call =>"Describe the call to adventure that disrupts the hero's ordinary world and compels them to embark on a journey. What is the inciting incident and source of the hero's pain or unrest?"
refuse =>"Explain why the hero initially refuses the call to adventure. What doubts, fears or obligations hold them back?"
mentor =>"Introduce the mentor figure who helps prepare the hero for the journey ahead. Why does the mentor help the hero and what gifts or advice do they provide?"
threshold =>"Describe the hero crossing the threshold into the unknown world of adventure. How do they cross and what is this new world like?"
tests =>"Outline the tests, allies gained and enemies faced as the hero navigates the new world and gains skills. How do these tests help the hero grow?"
approach =>"Describe the hero's initial strategy to tackle the central conflict and the setbacks faced. What do they struggle with internally, externally and philosophically?"
ordeal =>"Explain the supreme ordeal the hero must face. What makes this their greatest challenge and what skills are needed to overcome it?"
reward =>"Describe the reward the hero gains after surviving the ordeal. How does this help transform them moving forward?"
road =>"Describe the road back home for the hero and their continued journey. What is their final commitment and higher cause?"
finale =>"Outline the hero's final resurrection and dangerous test. What are the consequences of failure and impact on their world?"
end =>"Describe the hero's return home with new wisdom. How are they transformed and what is the resolution to their journey?"
// Execute commands in sequence