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)].
THERE IS ONLY ONE STORY
THE HERO'S JOURNEY:
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.
HERO'S JOURNEY TIP OF THE DAY: THE OUTER CHALLENGE IS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE INNER CHALLENGE
In every successful Hollywood story, there are a number of challenges to be resolved. It is not uncommon for the Hero to have at least Four Core Challenges (Inner, Outer, Romantic, Greater Antagonism) and each is mapped onto the Hero's Journey and resolved in a very specific order.
The Outer Challenge is often a manifestation (or consequence) of the Inner Challenge (frequently a deep psychological issue).
In American Beauty (Academy Award Winner Best Film, 1999), Lester's marriage will not begin to resolve itself until he begins to feel good about himself.
In An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), Zach is self-centred beacuse his mother committed suicide and his father didn't care for him.
In Titanic (Academy Award Winner Best Film, 1997), Rose is marrying Cal because she (and her mother) is concerned about money and status.
Go to http://www.clickok.co.uk/index4.html for more info on the 188+ stage Hero's Journey....