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Hero's Journey: everyone's doing it





kalbashir
People say that if there was only one story - a universal template - everyone would be using it. Well they are.

And we're not talking 4 acts, plot points etc.

I mean that ALL succcessful screenplays use a very detailed version of the Hero's Journey that is based on Transformation.

You need to check out the research at:

http://www.clickok.co.uk/index4.html
eggg
Ah yes, if you've ever read "the Hero With 1,000 Faces" by Joseph Campbell then this is a very familiar concept. The idea is that humanity has characteristics which are inherent in every one of its members. The experiences of infancy, of interacting with older people (be they parents or others), of eating and hunger, of bodily development, of the flooding hormones of adolescence, of realizing our own mortality, of injury and old age, and on a more basic level, of pleasure and pain, desire and fear, and duality in general... These things are almost universal. We experience all these things if we live long enough, and Campbell argues that they result in psychological predispositions to certain themes, which are pretty well defined in your link. I'd really recommend his book, and the four book "Masks of God" series as well.

In terms of the basic story, not much has changed from Gilgamesh to Luke Skywalker. Human beings are fascinating.
jveezy
Yeah. I remember in High School English class my freshman year, my teacher actually handed out a shortened version of this list and told us to write a short story with a lot of those elements in it.

We were studying epic heroes at the time. Beowulf, Odysseus, and Gilgamesh.
chunl3
Joseph Campbell rules, I only read Hero with a thousand faces once and it was one of the most enjoyable books ever
Magicman
This is very true. Almost all stories are basically the same. Otherwise it wouldn't be believable or interesting. It is very hard to come up with a story which doesn't match this flow, although it can be generalized so much that it can be fit to pretty much everything.
Nameless
While it is possible to create categories or even a single category broad enough that all stories fit into them/it, at such a level the 'template' becomes so vague and generalised that it's pretty much meaningless to do so! You might as well tell everybody that all food is basically the same because it's edible and all your achievements fit into the 'live and then eventually die' archetype of life. Technically true, but so what?
standready
Well, it looks like I have some reading to do.
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