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The Hero's Journey - Creating a Compelling Story

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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 - Creating a Compelling Story

  1. 1. The Hero’s Journey Rachel Stedman
  2. 2. Structure of Talk • What is a Hero’s Journey? • How is it used in stories? • (Practical) Writing your own hero’s journey
  3. 3. My Journey
  4. 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. 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
  6. 6. Classic Heroes King Arthur Archilles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYERjMjm3Qk
  7. 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. 8. Characters in Books • Harry Potter • Katniss Everdeen • Frodo Baggins
  9. 9. The Classical Structure
  10. 10. The Hero with a Thousand Faces • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhk4N9A 0oCA
  11. 11. Unusual Heros… • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I73sP93- 0xA • The Princess Bride: The hero who doesn’t behave as expected.
  12. 12. Pixar! • Finding Nemo • https://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=XWuPGKL JXe8 • Toy Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bn8 2dUJopKo
  13. 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. 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
  15. 15. Marketing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxDu6MQi _eE Brands and politicians Use the Hero’s Journey to increase their appeal
  16. 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. 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. 18. Tools • Use a plot diagram – Map out the obstacles – This sequence can be followed several times
  19. 19. Example - Pixar Magic • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GCzyZex nNE • If in doubt check out any pixar short movie.
  20. 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. 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. 22. Your Own Story Make it real • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlTNGjlo mJk
  23. 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.
  24. 24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22ROMuvv 1nY • Credits: Images – Pixabay Sound – www.bensound.com

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