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188 stage Hero's Journey (Monomyth)

The Hero's Journey (Monomyth) is the template upon which the vast majority of successful stories and Hollywood blockbusters are based upon. In fact, ALL of the hundreds of Hollywood movies we have deconstructed (all available at are based on this 188+ stage template.

Understanding this template is a priority for story or screenwriters. This is the template you must master if you are to succeed in the craft.

[The terminology is most often metaphoric and applies to all successful stories and screenplays, from The Godfather (1972) to Brokeback Mountain (2006) to Annie Hall (1977) to Lord of the Rings (2003) to Drugstore Cowboy (1989) to Thelma and Louise (1991) to Apocaplyse Now (1979)].



a) Attempts to tap into unconscious expectations the audience has regarding what a story is and how it should be told.

b) Gives the writer more structural elements than simply three or four acts, plot points, mid point and so on.

c) Gives you a tangible process for building and releasing dissonance (establishing and achieving catharses, of which there are usually four).

d) Gives you a universal structural template upon which you can superimpose your situational story. This is why stories such as Alien (1979), Gladiator (2000), Midnight Cowboy (1969), American Beauty (1999), The Graduate (1967) and many others (all deconstructed at the URL below) appear to be different but are all constructed, almost sequence by sequence, in the same way.

and more...

[simply go to or or or for full details]

*****Origin of Backstory*****

The Hero embarks on the Journey and Transformation, not to gain a capacity, illumination, power or balance, but to regain it. It is not the attainment of a capacity that helps the Hero conquer his (or her) challenges but the reattainment of it. The backstory should be viewed as the moment when that capacity was lost and everything that led up to this point.

As such, the backstory is often where the Hero's Inner Challenges are made explicit. In Silence of the Lambs (1991), Clarice's story really begins with the lamb (which she recites to Lecter). In Midnight Cowboy (1969), Joe Buck's story begins when he is abused and his girlfriend is raped. In An Officer and a Gentleman (1983), Zach's story begins when his mother commits suicide.


Go to for more info on the 188+ stage Hero's Journey....