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An Unforgettable Journey: Booking a Ferry From Holyhead to Dublin
The ferry from Holyhead to Dublin is one of the most popular routes in the UK and Ireland. It offers a unique experience, with stunning views of the Irish Sea and the beautiful Irish countryside. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an adventure-filled family holiday, this ferry journey is sure to provide an unforgettable experience. Here’s how to book your ferry from Holyhead to Dublin.
Planning Your Trip
The first step in planning your trip is to decide which ferry company you want to use. There are several companies that offer this route, including Stena Line, Irish Ferries, and P&O Ferries. Each company offers different amenities and prices, so it’s important to research each one before making your decision.
Booking Your Ticket
Once you’ve chosen a ferry company, you can book your ticket online or by phone. You will need to provide your personal details and payment information when booking your ticket. You can also book additional services such as meals or cabins if you wish. It’s important to book your ticket as far in advance as possible, as prices tend to increase closer to the date of travel.
Enjoying Your Journey
Once you’ve booked your ticket, it’s time to enjoy the journey. The journey from Holyhead to Dublin takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes, so make sure you bring plenty of snacks and drinks for the trip. During the journey, take in the stunning views of the Irish Sea and enjoy some of the onboard entertainment such as live music or movies.
The ferry from Holyhead to Dublin is an unforgettable experience that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. With plenty of amenities and stunning views along the way, it’s sure to be an enjoyable journey that will create lasting memories. So what are you waiting for? Book your ticket today and start planning your unforgettable journey.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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The Hero’s Journey Examples in Popular Fiction
As part of our series of resources on the Hero’s Journey, we’ve put together some Hero’s Journey examples in popular fiction. The examples below are:
- Interview with a Vampire
- The Hunger Games
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
We hope to add more as time goes on.
For each story we identify how each of the stages of the Hero’s Journey is represented.
You can read the examples directly below, or click to download printable PDFs beneath.
If you’re interested in the Hero’s Journey, you should check out our Ultimate Guide to the Hero’s Journey , which covers everything from its purpose to its history to explaining each of the twelve steps in great detail.
You might also like this Hero’s Journey Quick Reference Infographic .
The Hero’s Journey in Interview with a Vampire
The Hero’s Journey in The Hunger Games
the hero’s journey in interstellar, the hero’s journey in harry potter and the philosopher’s stone, unlock your writing potential.
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10 Hero’s Journey Short Story Examples
The hero’s journey doesn’t just appear in novels! Discover our guide with the best hero’s journey short story examples.
The hero’s journey is a narrative structure used in literature for centuries. It can be found in the works of the best fantasy authors such as The Lord of the Rings and can also be used to powerful effect in short stories. Below is our pick of the best short stories that utilize the hero’s journey form: their diversity may surprise you!
Here Are The Best Hero’s Journey Short Story Examples
1. story of your life – ted chiang, 2. the swimmer – john cheever, 3. the long walk – richard bachman, 4. never stop on a motorway – jeffrey archer, 5. the greatest thing in the world – norman mailer, 6. one ordinary day, with peanuts – shirley jackson, 7. the ghost of the crossroads – frederick manley, 8. leaf by niggle – j.r.r. tolkien, 9. shot down over libya – roald dahl, 10. the way of the cross – daphne du maurier.
Incorporating the hero’s structure narrative but molding the form to serve the story, Story of Your Life begins with the narrator, Dr. Louise Banks, speaking to her as-yet-unborn child. Banks, an experienced linguist, is brought on board to attempt to communicate with aliens whose ships have arrived mysteriously at locations worldwide.
It transpires that the past and future appear to the aliens with the same clarity as the present. Banks’ Return is represented by her memories of the date from the tale’s beginning and her words to her unborn child, but with the Elixir: knowledge. You might also be interested in these personal narrative examples .
“More interesting was that Heptapod B was changing the way I thought.” Ted Chiang, Story of Your Life
Beginning in an ordinary, affluent neighborhood in America, Ned Merrill is relaxing beside a friend’s pool on a summer’s day. But things take a surreal turn when Merrill decides that, to get home, he will swim across every backyard pool between his friend’s home and his own.
Although his endeavor starts as a fun frolic, it quickly becomes entirely different as Merrill encounters disgruntled neighbors and finds himself in uncomfortable situations. He eventually completes his swim and makes it back to his home. But the lightness of the venture has long gone, and when he realizes his house is empty, we get the sense that he’s talking about a deeper hollowness.
“He had done what he wanted, he had swum the county, but he was so stupefied with exhaustion that this triumph seemed vague.” John Cheever, The Swimmer
This novella from Stephen King, written under a pen name, features a narrator who follows both a literal and figurative hero’s journey. It’s set in a near-future dystopian version of the USA, where every year, The Long Walk is broadcast live. It follows one hundred boys who’ve registered to appear in the contest. The starting gun sounds, and they set off; the winner is the last one standing.
Our hero Garraty, leaves his home at the start of the story, driven by his mother, heading to the starting line. His journey takes him over a hundred miles and over state lines. At the end of the tale, he receives the Elixir – the ultimate treasure – but it comes at a terrible cost. You might also be interested in these tragic hero examples .
“None of us really has anything to lose. That makes it easier to give away.” Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
The Call to Adventure, a key stage of the hero’s journey, is delineated in this short story: the protagonist, Diana, receives an invitation to her friend’s farmhouse. But on the drive there, Diana becomes increasingly nervous. She’s convinced an ominous-looking black van is tailing her.
There are trials to overcome on her journey: traffic is slow, she’s stressed, and before joining the motorway, she accidentally hits a cat, killing it. The twist is too good to ruin by revealing, but it’s certainly true to say that the hero’s journey structure lends itself very well to the suspense genre.
“Diana gathered up her bag and walked purposefully towards the door, dropping the contract on Phil’s desk without bothering to suggest that he have a good weekend.” Jeffrey Archer, Never Stop on a Motorway
Written during the author’s sophomore year at Harvard, this short story follows Al Groot, who we meet haggling for a doughnut and coffee, remembering when he had more cash. He decides to hitch a ride with three strangers who walk into the cafe by making them understand that he has more money than he does (the Departure).
Later, he wins a gamble on a pool game but insists on quitting, angering his companions (The Initiation). They bundle him into their car and drive off with him, but Groot escapes by jumping out of the moving vehicle (The Return). The Greatest Thing in the World won Story magazine’s annual college contest in 1941. The ‘greatest thing’ – aka the Elixir, is luck. You might also be interested in these hero’s journey examples in real life .
“He stood there a small, old, wrinkled boy of eighteen or nineteen.” Norman Mailer, The Greatest Thing in the World
First published in 1955, this short story from the master of the form, Shirley Jackson, offers a new spin on the hero’s journey story. We begin the tale witnessing Mr. John Johnson going about his day in a good mood, spreading goodwill wherever he goes.
When Mr. Johnson returns home, his benevolent mission complete, the Elixir is revealed and passed on, baton-like, to his wife when we learn the terrible truth: Mr. and Mrs. Johnson take turns undertaking acts of goodness – and acts of evil.
“Mr. Johnson radiated a feeling of well-being as he went down the steps and onto the dirty sidewalk.” Shirley Jackson, One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts
A traveler sets out from a visit to a friend to return to the inn where he’s staying; it’s a bitter, snowy night, and he becomes hopelessly lost, wandering in the blizzard. He turns up suddenly at this inn – late at night – in a state of terrible shock, meeting the Mentor figure in the story: Andy Sweeney, the publican.
We learn of his terrible ordeals and the sinister stranger he met at the crossroads. A seemingly well-to-do gentleman who is inordinately fond of gambling. After a time, the penny drops, and the narrator wises up to who exactly he was gambling against and what was at stake. In a frenzied return home, we see the narrator enter the Ordinary World again, where he tells the story of his close encounter and even closer shave.
“Night, and especially Christmas night, is the best time to listen to a ghost story. Throw on the logs! Draw the curtains! Move your chairs nearer the fire and hearken!” Frederick Manley, The Ghost of the Crossroads
This is one of the only short stories the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit author ever wrote, and, despite the extremely different subject matter, it also follows the hero’s journey structure. The tale is an allegory following an artist’s journey through the stages of death. It could be viewed as a lighter take on that other epitome of the hero’s journey form, Dante’s The Divine Comedy.
Crossing the first threshold, Niggle arrives at the workhouse (purgatory) and, in gradual degrees, with the assistance of a couple of otherworldly and unseen mentors, arrives in the countryside (heaven).
“Things might have been different, but they could not have been better.” J.R.R. Tolkien, Leaf by Niggle
The hero’s journey structure can lend wonderfully to true-life stories; it’s a great tool to hone the narrative arc and regulate a story’s pace. The beloved children’s author, Roald Dahl, uses it to powerful effect in this short story, which details his experience of crashing in the desert in 1940 when, during World War II, he was flying for the Royal Air Force.
After being hit by ground anti-aircraft fire, Dahl believes he can return to the base, but his plane ends up nose diving into the sand. The author is badly wounded and must hope for rescue by the Allied Forces before it’s too late.
“Blast this stick; it won’t come back. They must have got my tailplane and jammed my elevators.” Roald Dahl, Shot Down Over Libya
Leaving the Ordinary World of their quiet middle-class English village behind, their local vicar leads a group of modern-day pilgrims on a sightseeing trip to the Middle East. Following a visit to the Garden of Gethsemane, strange events and trials beset the travelers: each is forced to confront the fate they most fear. However, their experiences are ultimately liberating, and they return home with new self-knowledge. Why write fanfiction? Check out our guide to find out!
“Du Maurier excelled at evoking a sense of menace. Darkness comes to the fore in her macabre and chilling short stories” Lucy Sholes, writing for BBC Culture
Melanie Smith is a freelance content and creative writer from Gloucestershire, UK, where she lives with her daughter, long-suffering partner, and cat, The Magical Mr. Bobo. Her blog posts and articles feature regularly in magazines and websites around the world.
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30 Hero’s Journey Books for Middle Schoolers
August 1, 2022 // by Katherine Monsen
The hero's/herione's journey is one that is prevalent in much popular fiction and has been developed over the years since 1949 when introduced by Joseph Campbell. It follows a journey structure where the hero's everyday life is disrupted and they return home transformed at the end of their journey. This blog provides a list of 30 books with hero's journey examples that can be used to demonstrate this structure to middle schoolers.
1. Holes by Louis Sacher
Stanley Yelnats is at a juvenile detention camp where he's digging holes, but he discovers that the warden is looking for something, but what could it be? This story takes some twists and turns as Stanley seeks the truth.
Learn More: Amazon
2. Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs
A 15-year-old Mexican boy endures a grueling journey to sneak across the U.S. border in an attempt to save his family from starvation. Victor doesn't have the coyote money some pay smugglers, so he has to travel on foot, and sneak onto trains and into trucks. Hobbs does an amazing job in telling a story that is true for many trying to "cross the wire".
3. Peak by Roland Smith
Go to a juvenile detention center, or go stay with a distanced father? Peak Marcelo chooses his father, but it comes with some unknown expectations. His father seems to have little regard for human life when he expects 14-year-old Peak to climb to the summit of Mt. Everest in order to become the youngest person to ever do so. Peak is part of a 4 book series.
4. False Prince by Jennifer Nielson
Nobleman Connor tries to reunite the kingdom by finding a replacement prince. Sage is one of four orphans that compete for the position, but he knows that Connor has ulterior motives. After crossing the field of adventure, Sage discovers a truth that is more dangerous than all the trials he's endured.
5. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
In this heroine's journey, Ani has never been comfortable speaking with people but can communicate with animals, especially swans. She is sent away from home to marry but ends up with nothing. She takes a job where her unique talent saves her and helps her develop her voice. This story reminds me of Jane Eyre.
6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
An orphan boy, Nobody Owens or Bod, is being raised in a graveyard that he can't leave without the risk of being killed by the man that killed his family. This story depicts an unusual upbringing, where Bod has adventures with assistance from the inhabitants of the graveyard.
7. Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
It's 1958 and a 12-year-old girl named Liz begins school. She befriends a girl named Marlee and they become inseparable until Liz stops coming to school suddenly. It is believed that Liz was a light-skinned black girl that was passing for white, but Marlee doesn't care; she values human life and friendship over politics and takes a stand, even if it's in a small way.
8. Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
It's the 1960's, and Holling Hoodhood is beginning 7th grade. He dislikes his English teacher and his father is more concerned with his career than his family. Each chapter is a month in the year where we see Holling grow to appreciate Mrs. Baker and stand up for his family. Holling's journey accurately depicts everyday life for many families in the 60s, up until the end.
9. Bull Run by Paul Fleischman
This book features not one, but sixteen different heroes from the first great battle in the Civil War. It is told in a series of vignettes by each fictional character who represents every race, color, and gender, as well as from both sides of the fight.
10. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Delphine's heroine journey takes us on a cross-country trip from New York to California when she and her sister go to visit their estranged mother one summer. This work of popular fiction is relatable to many children.
11. Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Jason Blake is twelve and struggles through each day due to autism. He enjoys posting stories online and discovers other writers with content like his. He wants to meet her in real life but fears it due to his disability. What this future hero doesn't realize, is that this fear is true for many people when making new friends.
12. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
13. drums, girls and dangerous pie by jordan sonnenblick.
Steven is your typical teenager until his little brother gets sick. He's trying to hold everything together and make it through high school. This work of popular fiction will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions.
14. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
The lines of genuine science fiction are blurred in this futuristic take on Cinderella. Cinder is a cyborg who is blamed for bad things happening to her family. She ends up in an intergalactic struggle, where this hero ventures into unknown places and discovers secrets from her past that help her world's future.
15. Origin by Jessica Khoury
Pia had one purpose in life to start an immortal race until she sneaks out of her village and falls in love with a boy from a different village. She must choose to either follow her destiny or her love. It's hard to tell the difference between genuine science fiction and a heroine's journey in this story.
16. Jump Into the Sky by Shelley Pearsall
13-year-old Levi travels across the country near the end of WW2 to find his father, who is an elite, black paratrooper. Along the way, he learns how blacks are treated in the South, and once he arrives, he learns that his father is about to leave for a dangerous mission.
17. The League of Seven by Philip Reeve
Archie gets a team of 7 together in order to save the world from the Mangleborn, monsters who thrive on electricity. They had been trapped in underground prisons for years because there was no electricity, but all that changes when it is rediscovered and a Mangelborn brainwashes the people responsible for detaining them.
18. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Woodson tells her life story in a series of poems, each written from a child's point of view. Her journey, looking for her place in the world, when civil rights were just being better established for blacks, is evident through her use of vivid language.
19. The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson has always struggled in school and is labeled as a troublemaker. To top it all off, he's accused of stealing Zeus's master lightning bolt. With the help of two friends, this hero ventures across the country from New York to California in order to find the true thief and discover who his father really is. This is book 1 of 9 and has become quite popular fiction among middle schoolers.
20. Half Bad by Sally Green
Nathan is in search of his father, who is supposed to give him three gifts on his seventeenth birthday so he can come into his own as a witch, however, he faces many difficulties along the way and learns he can trust no one. At times the journey structure is blurred, but Nathan completes his journey in the end.
21. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
Edward Tulane is an unlikely hero, as he's a china rabbit. He goes from being well cared for to being lost. We see Edwards' journey to multiple places, which teaches him how to love and lose that love over and over again.
22. The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore
Future hero, Lolly Rachpaul is met with the struggle of joining a gang in Harlem, like his older brother had, or not. A community center project building a Lego city stops him from following in his dead brothers' footsteps. Lolly shows us how important it is to choose your own path in life rather than take the easy way out.
23. Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas
Bree is stuck in Swim 101 for her elective, which she is not happy about, but with the help of a neighbor, she finds herself trying to turn around her school's bad luck with swim competitions. Here we see an example of a heroine that goes against Joseph Campbell's opinion that they are the hero's mother.
24. Solo by Kwame Alexander
Blade wants nothing more than to distance himself from his drug addict father, despite his family thinking he's headed down the same path given his songwriting skills. One day he discovers a family secret which leaves him in a position to find what he's been looking for in life or leave him more lost than ever.
25. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Ally has dyslexia, but didn't know it for some time. With the help of a new teacher, she learns how to overcome her disability and grows her confidence.
26. Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
This book brings four different points of view together, in order to find a missing boy and show a bully the error of his ways in this adventure by assistance.
27. The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis
Neftali follows a mysterious voice into the field of adventure through the rainforest, sea, and the rain on a journey of self-discovery. This story is told through a variety of mediums and depicts the early life of Pablo Neruda.
28. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
After fleeing Vietnam, Ha and her family travel to the U.S. Told in verse, you'll experience a range of emotions.
29. Stranded by Jeff Probst
What starts out as a family vacation, quickly turns into a story of survival. Four siblings end up shipwrecked with no adults and must learn how to survive on their own.
30. As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds
Genie is trying to decide what bravery looks like. First, he thinks that his blind grandfather is brave, but then he discovers that he never leaves the house. Then he thinks his brother is brave, but then changes his mind when he shows no interest in learning how to shoot a gun.
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12 Hero’s Journey Stages Explained (+ Free Templates)
From zero to hero, the hero’s journey is a popular character development arc used in many stories. In today’s post, we will explain the 12 hero’s journey stages, along with the simple example of Cinderella.
The Hero’s Journey was originally formulated by American writer Joseph Campbell to describe the typical character arc of many classic stories, particularly in the context of mythology and folklore. The original hero’s journey contained 17 steps. Although the hero’s journey has been adapted since then for use in modern fiction, the concept is not limited to literature. It can be applied to any story, video game, film or even music that features an archetypal hero who undergoes a transformation. Common examples of the hero’s journey in popular works include Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
- What is the hero's journey?
Stage 1: The Ordinary World
Stage 2: call of adventure, stage 3: refusal of the call, stage 4: meeting the mentor, stage 5: crossing the threshold, stage 6: tests, allies, enemies, stage 7: the approach, stage 8: the ordeal, stage 9: reward, stage 10: the road back, stage 11: resurrection, stage 12: return with the elixir, cinderella example, campbell’s 17-step journey, leeming’s 8-step journey, cousineau’s 8-step journey.
- Free Hero's Journey Templates
What is the hero’s journey?
The hero’s journey, also known as the monomyth, is a character arc used in many stories. The idea behind it is that heroes undergo a journey that leads them to find their true selves. This is often represented in a series of stages. There are typically 12 stages to the hero’s journey. Each stage represents a change in the hero’s mindset or attitude, which is triggered by an external or internal event. These events cause the hero to overcome a challenge, reach a threshold, and then return to a normal life.
The hero’s journey is a powerful tool for understanding your characters. It can help you decide who they are, what they want, where they came from, and how they will change over time. It can be used to
- Understand the challenges your characters will face
- Understand how your characters react to those challenges
- Help develop your characters’ traits and relationships
In this post, we will explain each stage of the hero’s journey, using the example of Cinderella.
You might also be interested in our post on the story mountain or this guide on how to outline a book .
12 Hero’s Journey Stages
The archetypal hero’s journey contains 12 stages and was created by Christopher Vogler. These steps take your main character through an epic struggle that leads to their ultimate triumph or demise. While these steps may seem formulaic at first glance, they actually form a very flexible structure. The hero’s journey is about transformation, not perfection.
Your hero starts out in the ordinary world. He or she is just like every other person in their environment, doing things that are normal for them and experiencing the same struggles and challenges as everyone else. In the ordinary world, the hero feels stuck and confused, so he or she goes on a quest to find a way out of this predicament.
Example: Cinderella’s father passes away and she is now stuck doing chores and taking abuse from her stepsisters and stepmother.
The hero gets his or her first taste of adventure when the call comes. This could be in the form of an encounter with a stranger or someone they know who encourages them to take a leap of faith. This encounter is typically an accident, a series of coincidences that put the hero in the right place at the right time.
Example: An invite arrives inviting the family to a royal ball where the Prince will choose a wife.
Some people will refuse to leave their safe surroundings and live by their own rules. The hero has to overcome the negative influences in order to hear the call again. They also have to deal with any personal doubts that arise from thinking too much about the potential dangers involved in the quest. It is common for the hero to deny their own abilities in this stage and to lack confidence in themselves.
Example: Cinderella accepts the call by making her own dress for the ball. However, her stepmother refuses the call for her by not letting her go to the ball. And her step-sisters ruin her dress, so she can not go.
After hearing the call, the hero begins a relationship with a mentor who helps them learn about themselves and the world. In some cases, the mentor may be someone the hero already knows. The mentor is usually someone who is well-versed in the knowledge that the hero needs to acquire, but who does not judge the hero for their lack of experience.
Example: Cinderella meets her fairy godmother who equips her with everything she needs for the ball, including a dress and a carriage.
The hero leaves their old life behind and enters the unfamiliar new world. The crossing of the threshold symbolises leaving their old self behind and becoming a new person. Sometimes this can include learning a new skill or changing their physical appearance. It can also include a time of wandering, which is an essential part of the hero’s journey.
Example: Cinderella hops into the carriage and heads off to the ball. She has transformed from a servant into an elegant young lady.
As the hero goes on this journey, they will meet both allies (people who help the hero) and enemies (people who try to stop the hero). There will also be tests, where the hero is tempted to quit, turn back, or become discouraged. The hero must be persistent and resilient to overcome challenges.
Example: At the ball, Cinderella meets the prince, and even see’s her stepmother and stepsister. She dances with Prince all night long making her step-sisters extremely jealous.
The hero now reaches the destination of their journey, in some cases, this is a literal location, such as a cave or castle. It could also be metaphorical, such as the hero having an internal conflict or having to make a difficult decision. In either case, the hero has to confront their deepest fears in this stage with bravery. In some ways, this stage can mark the end of the hero’s journey because the hero must now face their darkest fears and bring them under control. If they do not do this, the hero could be defeated in the final battle and will fail the story.
Example: Cinderella is having a great time at the ball and nearly forgets about the midnight rule. As she runs away in a hurry, her glass slipper falls off outside the palace.
The hero has made it to the final challenge of their journey and now must face all odds and defeat their greatest adversary. Consider this the climax of the story. This could be in the form of a physical battle, a moral dilemma or even an emotional challenge. The hero will look to their allies or mentor for further support and guidance in this ordeal. Whatever happens in this stage could change the rest of the story, either for good or bad.
Example: Prince Charming looks all over the kingdom for the mysterious girl he met at the ball. He finally visits Cinderella’s house and tries the slippers on the step-sisters. The prince is about to leave and then he sees Cinderella in the corner cleaning.
When the hero has defeated the most powerful and dangerous of adversaries, they will receive their reward. This reward could be an object, a new relationship or even a new piece of knowledge. The reward, which typically comes as a result of the hero’s perseverance and hard work, signifies the end of their journey. Given that the hero has accomplished their goal and served their purpose, it is a time of great success and accomplishment.
Example: The prince tries the glass slipper on Cinderella. The glass slipper fits Cinderella perfectly, and they fall in love.
The journey is now complete, and the hero is now heading back home. As the hero considers their journey and reflects on the lessons they learned along the way, the road back is sometimes marked by a sense of nostalgia or even regret. As they must find their way back to the normal world and reintegrate into their former life, the hero may encounter additional difficulties or tests along the way. It is common for the hero to run into previous adversaries or challenges they believed they had overcome.
Example: Cinderella and Prince Charming head back to the Prince’s castle to get married.
The hero has one final battle to face. At this stage, the hero might have to fight to the death against a much more powerful foe. The hero might even be confronted with their own mortality or their greatest fear. This is usually when the hero’s true personality emerges. This stage is normally symbolised by the hero rising from the dark place and fighting back. This dark place could again be a physical location, such as the underground or a dark cave. It might even be a dark, mental state, such as depression. As the hero rises again, they might change physically or even experience an emotional transformation.
Example: Cinderella is reborn as a princess. She once again feels the love and happiness that she felt when she was a little girl living with her father.
At the end of the story, the hero returns to the ordinary world and shares the knowledge gained in their journey with their fellow man. This can be done by imparting some form of wisdom, an object of great value or by bringing about a social revolution. In all cases, the hero returns changed and often wiser.
Example: Cinderella and Prince Charming live happily ever after. She uses her new role to punish her stepmother and stepsisters and to revitalise the kingdom.
We have used the example of Cinderella in Vogler’s hero’s journey model below:
Below we have briefly explained the other variations of the hero’s journey arc.
The very first hero’s journey arc was created by Joseph Campbell in 1949. It contained the following 17 steps:
- The Call to Adventure: The hero receives a call or a reason to go on a journey.
- Refusal of the Call: The hero does not accept the quest. They worry about their own abilities or fear the journey itself.
- Supernatural Aid: Someone (the mentor) comes to help the hero and they have supernatural powers, which are usually magical.
- The Crossing of the First Threshold: A symbolic boundary is crossed by the hero, often after a test.
- Belly of the Whale: The point where the hero has the most difficulty making it through.
- The Road of Trials: In this step, the hero will be tempted and tested by the outside world, with a number of negative experiences.
- The Meeting with the Goddess: The hero meets someone who can give them the knowledge, power or even items for the journey ahead.
- Woman as the Temptress: The hero is tempted to go back home or return to their old ways.
- Atonement with the Father: The hero has to make amends for any wrongdoings they may have done in the past. They need to confront whatever holds them back.
- Apotheosis: The hero gains some powerful knowledge or grows to a higher level.
- The Ultimate Boon: The ultimate boon is the reward for completing all the trials of the quest. The hero achieves their ultimate goal and feels powerful.
- Refusal of the Return: After collecting their reward, the hero refuses to return to normal life. They want to continue living like gods.
- The Magic Flight: The hero escapes with the reward in hand.
- Rescue from Without: The hero has been hurt and needs help from their allies or guides.
- The Crossing of the Return Threshold: The hero must come back and learn to integrate with the ordinary world once again.
- Master of the Two Worlds: The hero shares their wisdom or gifts with the ordinary world. Learning to live in both worlds.
- Freedom to Live: The hero accepts the new version of themselves and lives happily without fear.
David Adams Leeming later adapted the hero’s journey based on his research of legendary heroes found in mythology. He noted the following steps as a pattern that all heroes in stories follow:
- Miraculous conception and birth: This is the first trauma that the hero has to deal with. The Hero is often an orphan or abandoned child and therefore faces many hardships early on in life.
- Initiation of the hero-child: The child faces their first major challenge. At this point, the challenge is normally won with assistance from someone else.
- Withdrawal from family or community: The hero runs away and is tempted by negative forces.
- Trial and quest: A quest finds the hero giving them an opportunity to prove themselves.
- Death: The hero fails and is left near death or actually does die.
- Descent into the underworld: The hero rises again from death or their near-death experience.
- Resurrection and rebirth: The hero learns from the errors of their way and is reborn into a better, wiser being.
- Ascension, apotheosis, and atonement: The hero gains some powerful knowledge or grows to a higher level (sometimes a god-like level).
In 1990, Phil Cousineau further adapted the hero’s journey by simplifying the steps from Campbell’s model and rearranging them slightly to suit his own findings of heroes in literature. Again Cousineau’s hero’s journey included 8 steps:
- The call to adventure: The hero must have a reason to go on an adventure.
- The road of trials: The hero undergoes a number of tests that help them to transform.
- The vision quest: Through the quest, the hero learns the errors of their ways and has a realisation of something.
- The meeting with the goddess: To help the hero someone helps them by giving them some knowledge, power or even items for the journey ahead.
- The boon: This is the reward for completing the journey.
- The magic flight: The hero must escape, as the reward is attached to something terrible.
- The return threshold: The hero must learn to live back in the ordinary world.
- The master of two worlds: The hero shares their knowledge with the ordinary world and learns to live in both worlds.
As you can see, every version of the hero’s journey is about the main character showing great levels of transformation. Their journey may start and end at the same location, but they have personally evolved as a character in your story. Once a weakling, they now possess the knowledge and skill set to protect their world if needed.
Free Hero’s Journey Templates
Use the free Hero’s journey templates below to practice the skills you learned in this guide! You can either draw or write notes in each of the scene boxes. Once the template is complete, you will have a better idea of how your main character or the hero of your story develops over time:
The storyboard template below is a great way to develop your main character and organise your story:
Did you find this guide on the hero’s journey stages useful? Let us know in the comments below.
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The Hero’s Journey
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What is the Hero's Journey?
Related to both plot diagram and types of literary conflict , the ”Hero’s Journey” structure is a recurring pattern of stages many heroes undergo over the course of their stories. Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, writer, and lecturer, articulated this cycle after researching and reviewing numerous myths and stories from a variety of time periods and regions of the world. He found that different writers take us on different journeys, however, they all share fundamental principles. They always include a hero and this hero moves through a cycle of predictable stages. This hero cycle in literature is called the Hero’s Journey, also known as the Monomyth, archetype . The most basic version of Joseph Campbell's Monomyth has 12 steps, while more detailed versions can have up to 17 steps. The wheel to the right is an excellent visual to share with students of how these steps occur.
Structure of the Monomyth: The Hero's Journey Summary
This summary of the different elements of the archetypal hero's journey outlines the main four parts along with the different stages within each part. This can be shared with students and used as a reference along with the hero's journey wheel to analyze literature.
Part One - Call to Adventure
During the exposition, the hero is in the ordinary world , usually the hero’s home or natural habitat. Conflict arises in their everyday life, which calls the hero to adventure , where they are beckoned to leave their familiar world in search of something. They may refuse the call at first, but eventually leave, knowing that something important hangs in the balance and refusal of the call is simply not an option.
Part Two - Supreme Ordeal or Initiation
Once the hero makes the decision to leave the normal world, venture into the unfamiliar world, and has officially begun their mysterious adventure, they will meet a mentor figure (a sidekick in some genres) and together these two will cross the first threshold . This is the point where turning back is not an option, and where they usually encounter tests, allies and enemies . Obstacles like tests and enemies must be overcome to continue. Helpers aid the hero in their journey.
Part Three - Unification or Transformation
Having overcome initial obstacles, in this part of the heroic cycle, the hero and their allies reach the approach . Here they will prepare for the major challenge in this new or special world. During the approach, the hero undergoes an ordeal , testing them to point near death. Their greatest fear is sometimes exposed, and from the ordeal comes a new life or revival for the hero. This transformation is the final separation from their old life to their new life. For their efforts in overcoming the ordeal, the hero reaches the reward . The hero receives the reward for facing death. There may be a celebration, but there is also danger of losing the reward.
Part Four - Road Back or Hero's Return
Once the hero achieves their goal and the reward is won, the hero and companions start on the road back . The hero wants to complete the adventure and return to their ordinary world with their treasure. This stage is often referred to as either the resurrections or atonement . Atonement examples are when the hero conquers his demons or enemies and is transformed by the experience into a new person with a renewed self confidence when the hero returns home. The hero becomes "at one" with themselves. As the hero crosses the threshold (returning from the unknown to their ordinary world), the reader arrives at the climax of the story. Here, the hero is severely tested one last time. This test is an attempt to undo their previous achievements. At this point, the hero has come full circle, and the major conflict at the beginning of the journey is finally resolved. In the return home, the hero has now resumed life in his/her original world, and things are restored to ordinary.
Popular Hero's Journey Examples
Monomyth example: homer's odyssey.
The hero's journey chart below for Homer’s Odyssey uses the abridged ninth grade version of the epic. The Heroic Journey in the original story of the Odyssey is not linear, beginning in media res , Latin for “in the middle of things”.)
To Kill a Mockingbird Heroic Journey
Did you know that many popular movies have heroes that follow this type of journey? It is true! In the "Star Wars" movies, Hollywood film producer George Lucas creates a journey for Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. In "The Lion King", Simba goes on quite the adventure that ends in a final battle with his uncle Scar, a major turning point in the film before the hero returns to save his land. In "The Wizard of Oz", Dorothy takes on the role of the epic hero as she teeters between the two worlds of Kanas and Oz. These are just a few of the many examples of Campbell's theory in the cinematic realm.
Classroom Applications and Uses
Create your own hero's journey examples using the Storyboard That Creator! Customize the level of detail and number of cells required for projects based on available class time and resources.
- Students identify the stages of the heroic journey in a piece of literature by creating one cell depicting each of the twelve steps.
- Students create storyboards that show and explain each stage found in the work of literature, using specific quotes from the text which highlight each part of the journey.
- Students create an outline of their own original story that follows the monomyth stages.
- ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3 : Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
- ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.7 : Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus)
- ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6 : Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically
- ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2 : Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source
- ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3 : Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed)
- ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7 : Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)
- ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.6 : Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information
- ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.2 : Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data
- Plot Diagram and Narrative Arc
- Types of Conflict In Literature
- What is an Archetype?
- The Odyssey Teacher Guide
- Types of Heroes in Literature
How Teachers Can Use The Concept of The Heroic Journey To Help Students Better Understand Character Development In Literature
Introduce the concept of the heroic journey.
Teachers can introduce the concept of the heroic journey to students and explain the different stages involved in the journey. This will provide a framework for students to better understand how characters develop throughout the story.
Analyze Characters Using the Heroic Journey
Teachers can guide students through the stages of the heroic journey and ask them to identify where the character is in the journey. This will help students to understand the character's development and how their actions and decisions are influenced by the different stages of the journey.
Compare and Contrast Character Journeys
Teachers can ask students to compare and contrast the journeys of different characters within a story or across multiple stories. This will help students to gain a deeper understanding of how the heroic journey is used to develop characters in literature and how it can be applied across different genres and cultures.
Discuss the Role of Character Motivation
Teachers can encourage students to think critically about the motivations of characters at each stage of the journey. This will help students to understand why characters make certain decisions and how their motivations contribute to their development.
Apply the Concept to Real-Life Situations
Teachers can encourage students to apply the concept of the heroic journey to real-life situations. This will help students to see how the journey applies not only to literature, but also to their own lives and experiences.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Hero's Journey
What is a "monomyth" or the "hero's journey" in literature.
In comparative mythology, the monomyth, or the hero's journey, is the series of stages that can be applied to a variety of stories from all genres. It involves a hero who is called to pursue an adventure, undergoes an ordeal, achieves their goal and returns home transformed.
What are the 12 Stages of the Hero's Journey in literature?
- Ordinary World
- Call to Adventure
- Meeting the Mentor / Helper
- Crossing the Threshold
- Test / Allies / Enemies
What is a common theme in the hero's journey?
The Hero's Journey usually follows the path of the main character from childhood or young adulthood through maturity. It is about the common human experiences of growth, challenges and change that are relatable to us all.
Why should students learn about the hero's journey?
The hero's journey is relevant for students in that it demonstrates the possibility of overcoming adversity and the potential for growth and change that is within us all. It is a common theme of literature and movies that once students understand, they will be able to identify over and over again. It is helpful for students to make the text-to-self connection and apply this thinking to their own life as a "growth mindset" . They can see that they are on their own hero's journey and that everyone has the ability to overcome obstacles to achieve their goals and affect positive change in their lives and the lives of others.
What are some of the best examples of the hero's journey?
The hero's journey stages appear in more books than students may realize! Here are just a few examples of popular books that contain the monomyth structure:
- The Graveyard Book
- The Hunger Games
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- The Odyssey
- The Lions of Little Rock
- Wednesday Wars
- One Crazy Summer
- Out of My Mind
- Brown Girl Dreaming
- The Lightning Thief
- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
- The Stars Beneath Our Feet
- Fish in a Tree
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The Hero’s Journey: A Classic Story Structure
Writing a compelling story, especially if you’re new at this, can be grueling.
Conflicting advice online can overwhelm you, making you want to quit before you’ve written a word.
But you know more than you think.
Stories saturate our lives. We talk, think, and communicate with story in music, on television, in video games, in books, and in movies.
Every story, regardless of genre or plot , features a main character who begins some adventure or quest, overcomes obstacles, and is transformed.
This is generically referred to as The Hero’s Journey, a broad story template popularized by Joseph Campbell in his The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949).
In essence, every story ever told includes at least some of the seventeen stages he outlined .
In 1985, screenwriter Christopher Vogler wrote a memo for Disney titled The Practical Guide to Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces that condensed the seventeen steps to twelve.
The Hero’s Journey template has influenced storytellers worldwide, most notably George Lucas (creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones ).
Vogler says of Campbell’s writings: “The ideas are older than the pyramids, older than Stonehenge, older than the earliest cave painting.”
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a prime example of The Hero’s Journey, so I use “she” inclusively to represent both genders.
- The 3 Hero’s Journey Stages
1. The Departure (Separation)
The hero is compelled to leave her ordinary world.
She may have misgivings about this compulsion, and this is where a mentor may come to encourage and guide her.
Example: Katniss Everdeen is a devoted sister, daughter, and friend. She’s an avid hunter, well acquainted with the forbidden forest outside District 12, where she and her friend Gale hunt to keep their families from starving. The Hunger Games, wherein only one winner survives, loom, and she fears she or one of her friends will be chosen.
The hero crosses into the other world, where she faces obstacles.
Sometimes she’s alone, sometimes she’s joined by a companion. Maybe a few.
Here she must use the tools she’s been given in her ordinary life to overcome each obstacle. She’ll be rewarded, sometimes tangibly.
Eventually she must return to the ordinary world with her reward.
Example: District 12’s Representative and Stylist Effie Trinket arrives to choose the Tributes who will compete in The Hunger Games.
Katniss and her family attend, and she breathlessly wills Effie not to draw her name. She gets her wish, but to her horror, her little sister Primrose is chosen.
Peacekeepers shove Prim toward the stage before Katniss volunteers to take her place. She’s joined by the male tribute, the baker’s son Peeta. They are soon whisked away for training and then the competition.
The hero crosses the threshold back into her ordinary world, which looks different now. She brings with her the rewards and uses them for good.
Example: Unexpectedly, Katniss and Peeta are told there can be two victors instead of one. But Katniss and Peeta, to the dismay of the Capitol, decide they’ll die together or emerge as victors together. They emerge not only as victors, but also as celebrities. They have changed in unimaginable ways.
- The 12 Hero’s Journey Steps (and How to Use Them)
1 — Ordinary World
Before your hero is transported to another world, we want to see her in her ordinary world—who is she when no one is watching? What drives her?
This sets the stage for the rest of your story , so show her human side. Make her real and knowable.
But don’t wait long to plunge her into terrible trouble. Once you give your readers a reason to care, give them more to keep them turning the pages.
Example: Katniss Everdeen is introduced as a teenager for whom life isn’t easy. Her father is dead, her mother depressed, and Katniss will do anything to provide for her family and protect her little sister.
2 — The Call to Adventure
This is the point at which your hero’s world can never be the same. A problem, a challenge, or an adventure arises—is she up to the challenge?
Example: The Reaping, where Katniss volunteers to take Prim’s place.
3 — Refusal of the Call
Occasionally, a hero screeches to a halt before the adventure begins. When faced with adversity, she hesitates, unsure of herself.
She must face her greatest fears and forge ahead.
Example: There is no refusal of the call in The Hunger Games. Katniss eagerly steps forward.
4 — Meeting With the Mentor
The mentor may be an older individual who offers wisdom, a friend, or even an object, like a letter or map.
Whatever the form, the mentor gives your hero the tools she needs for the journey—either by inspiring her, or pushing her in the direction she needs to go.
Example: Katniss is introduced to Haymitch the minute she reaches the stage to accept the challenge. He’s the only person from District 12 to have ever won The Hunger Games. She’s not initially impressed, but he eventually becomes her biggest ally.
5 — Crossing the First Threshold
In the final step of the departure phase, your hero musters the courage to forge ahead, and the real adventure begins.
There’s no turning back.
By now, you’ve introduced your hero and given your readers a reason to care what happens to her. You should have also introduced the underlying theme of your story .
Why is it important for your hero to accomplish this task?
What are the stakes?
What drives her?
Example: Katniss is transported via train to the Capitol to begin training for The Hunger Games. She’s promised Prim she’ll do everything in her power to return home.
Your hero is laser focused, but this is the point at which she faces her first obstacle. She will meet her enemies and be forced to build alliances. She will be tested and challenged.
Can she do it?
What does she learn in this initiation phase?
Example: Katniss meets her competitors for the first time during training and is able to watch them to get a sense of what challenges lie ahead.
6 — Tests, Allies, and Enemies
Things have shifted in the new world. Danger lies ahead. Alliances are formed, chaos ensues.
Your hero may fail tests she’s confronted with at first, but her transformation begins. She has the ability and knowledge to accomplish her tasks, but will she succeed?
Example: The Hunger Games begin. Tributes die. Katniss fights without water or a weapon. Her allies are Peeta and young Rue (the 12-year-old Tribute from District 11). The strongest players have illegally spent their young lives training for The Hunger Games and loom as her enemies from the start.
7 — Approach to the Inmost Cave
Your hero approaches danger—often hidden, sometimes more mental than physical. She must face her greatest fears time again and may even be tempted to give up. She has to dig deep to find courage.
Example: Katniss is in the arena, the games underway. There’s no escape. She’s seen death, fears she may be next, and must find water and a weapon to survive.
8 — The Ordeal
Your hero’s darkest moment and greatest challenge so far, in a fight for her life, she must find a way to endure to the end.
This may or may not be the climax of your story, but it is the climax of the initiation stage.
During this terrible ordeal, the steepest part of her character arc takes place.
Example: Katniss faces dying of thirst (if she’s not killed by another Tribute first) and faces every obstacle imaginable, including the death of Rue, before she finally wins the battle.
9 — Reward (Seizing the Sword)
Against all odds, your hero survives. She’s defeated her enemies , slain her dragons—she has overcome and won the reward.
Whether her reward is tangible depends on the story. Regardless, your hero has undergone a total inward and outward transformation.
Example: Peeta and Katniss stand alone in the arena, told that because they are from the same district they can both claim the victory—or can they?
10 — The Road Back
As she begins to cross the threshold back into the ordinary world, she learns the battle isn’t finished.
She must face the consequences for her actions during the initiation stage.
She’s about to face her final obstacle.
Example: The Capitol reverses and announces that only one winner will be allowed.
11 — The Resurrection
During this climax of your story, your hero faces her final, most threatening challenge.
She may even face death one more time.
Example: Katniss and Peeta decide that if they can’t win together, there will be no winner. They decide to call the Capitol’s bluff and threaten to die together. As they are about to eat poison berries, the Capitol is forced to allow two winners.
12 — Return With the Elixir
Your hero finally crosses the threshold back into her ordinary life, triumphant. Only things aren’t so ordinary anymore.
She’s been changed by her adventure. She brings with her rewards, sometimes tangible items she can share, sometimes insight or wisdom. Regardless, this all impacts her life in ways she never imagined.
Example: Katniss and Peeta return home celebrities. They’re given new homes, plenty of food to share, and assistants who tend to their needs. Katniss learns that her defiance of the Capitol has sparked a revolution in the hearts of residents all across Panem.
- Hero’s Journey Examples
You may recognize The Hero’s Journey in many famous stories, including Greek Mythology and even the Bible. Other examples:
- Sleeping Beauty
- Lord of the Rings
- Indiana Jones
- Sherlock Holmes
- Pilgrim’s Progress
- The Wizard of Oz
- Should You Use The Hero’s Journey Story Structure?
Structure is necessary to a story , regardless which you choose. Because the Hero’s Journey serves as a template under which all story structures fall, each bears some variation of it.
For fiction or nonfiction, your story structure determines how effectively you employ drama, intrigue, and tension to grab readers from the start and keep them to the end.
For more on story structure, visit my blog post 7 Story Structures Any Writer Can Use .
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