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The Hero's Journey - Creating a Compelling Story

Want to create an engaging story? Discover this technique used by storytellers throughout the ages. This slide show contains links to video clips to help to illustrate the techniques discussed.

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The Hero’s Journey
Rachel Stedman
Structure of Talk
• What is a Hero’s Journey?
• How is it used in stories?
• (Practical) Writing your own hero’s journey
My Journey
What is a Hero’s Journey?
1. A hero is the main character of the story
2. Usually humble or unknown
– Hero can be male or female
– Can be non-human
3. She has a CALLING or GOAL.
4. He may have a Guide.
5. She encounters setbacks.
6. He has to overcome a final, almost overwhelming,
obstacle.
7. She must overcome his/her internal demons.
8. He transforms.
9. She changes the world about her.
Who is A Hero?
• His/her journey is the oldest form of story
• You can see this structure in:
– Classical literature
– YA fiction
– Movies
– Games
– Fairytales
Classic Heroes
King Arthur
Archilles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYERjMjm3Qk

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The Hero's Journey - Creating a Compelling Story

  • 2. Structure of Talk • What is a Hero’s Journey? • How is it used in stories? • (Practical) Writing your own hero’s journey
  • 4. What is a Hero’s Journey? 1. A hero is the main character of the story 2. Usually humble or unknown – Hero can be male or female – Can be non-human 3. She has a CALLING or GOAL. 4. He may have a Guide. 5. She encounters setbacks. 6. He has to overcome a final, almost overwhelming, obstacle. 7. She must overcome his/her internal demons. 8. He transforms. 9. She changes the world about her.
  • 5. Who is A Hero? • His/her journey is the oldest form of story • You can see this structure in: – Classical literature – YA fiction – Movies – Games – Fairytales
  • 7. Fairytales • The story of Rhodopis of Egypt: – An eagle snatched one of her sandals and carried it to Memphis; – And flung the sandal into the king’s lap; – The king, stirred by its beautiful shape, sent men in all directions – in quest of the woman who wore the sandal…
  • 8. Characters in Books • Harry Potter • Katniss Everdeen • Frodo Baggins
  • 10. The Hero with a Thousand Faces • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhk4N9A 0oCA
  • 11. Unusual Heros… • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I73sP93- 0xA • The Princess Bride: The hero who doesn’t behave as expected.
  • 12. Pixar! • Finding Nemo • https://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=XWuPGKL JXe8 • Toy Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bn8 2dUJopKo
  • 13. Fairytales Are Great • Goal: – Cinderella wants to go to the ball. – Sleeping Beauty wants to avoid a curse. • Monumental obstacles: – Jack doesn't just fight an ogre; he fights an evil, man-eating, giant ogre. • He has to overcome a final, almost overwhelming, obstacle: – Hansel escapes from the cage, only to be caught by the evil witch. • She must overcome his/her internal demons: – Cinderella gains the courage to defy her evil stepmother and set her foot in the glass slipper
  • 14. Games • Games use the hero’s journey • Especially first-person with quest • Battlefield 1 trailer… – (note: violence warning) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4MYqFw2KYg
  • 16. Hero Character • To be a hero the character has to be likeable – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR1inOPxy7E – A hero should never violate the reader’s moral compass. – The hero may do bad things but the reader must understand why – Humour helps build empathy
  • 17. Obstacles – What obstacles will your hero face? • Why this one? • How many? • Increasing – How will they overcome them? • Do they need assistance? • If so, who from? – How do they change?
  • 18. Tools • Use a plot diagram – Map out the obstacles – This sequence can be followed several times
  • 19. Example - Pixar Magic • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GCzyZex nNE • If in doubt check out any pixar short movie.
  • 20. Change • How does your hero change? – Internal – External • How does his/her world change? • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hscu7cc1_2Y • You don’t need to spend a lot of time explaining the change. • A hero can be real – e.g. Martin Luther King
  • 21. Your Own Story • A hero can be real – e.g. Martin Luther King • You are a hero • What is your goal? • What do you need to overcome?
  • 22. Your Own Story Make it real • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlTNGjlo mJk
  • 23. Summary • The hero’s journey is the oldest story-type • It engages people • It’s used A LOT • Need to consider: • Who is the hero • What does she face • How does she change • If in doubt, watch: – any pixar movie – Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

Editor's Notes

  1. The fault in our stars – Hazel and Augustus
  2. End at 2.42
  3. First 20s
  4. Ideally the hero resolves his inner battles as well as achieving his goals Other people see him differently He may or may not care Most satisfying if there is internal change