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 MEANING OF TIME PRESSURE
Post the Expulsion from the New World, Time Pressure causes the Hero to Return. Time Pressure means that there is a fast diminishing opportunity left to return the Worlds to a New State of Perfection.
In Ben-Hur (1959), Judah must hurry as Tirzah is dying, and without her there will be no return to normality.
In The Godfather (1972), Michael must hurry as Barzini will take over all the territory, and then there little chance of a return to any sort of normality.
In Star Wars (1977), Luke must hurry as the Death Star will soon destroy the rebel base, and then there will be little opportunity to defeat Vader et al.
Go to http://www.clickok.co.uk/index4.html for more info on the 510+ stage Hero's Journey....