The Lover's Journey


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Award-winning author outlines the mythic story structure of The Hero's Journey as it relates to romance fiction.

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The Lover's Journey

  1. 1. The Lover’s JourneyApplyingThe Hero’s Journeyto the Romance Genre
  2. 2. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesThe Ordinary WorldWhat kind of lives are the hero andheroine living at the beginning of thestory?What is missing from their lives?What are their problems?
  3. 3. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesThe Call to AdventureWhat event begins a chain-reaction ofchange in their lives, bringing themtogether?Corresponds to the Inciting Incident
  4. 4. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesRefusal of the CallDo the hero and heroine resist this neworder?If so, how do they express theirresistance?Resistance may be expressedby other characters in theform of warnings.
  5. 5. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesMeeting With the MentorWhat persons or events prompt the heroand heroine to take the first tentative stepstoward change?The Mentor could be a person, a code ofconduct or inner resources.
  6. 6. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesCrossing the First ThresholdWhat event really gets the ball rolling,setting the hero and heroine on a collisioncourse with true love?Corresponds to the First Plot Point.
  7. 7. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesThe Special WorldHow does the physical or emotional settingchange in a contrast to the world they livedin before they met?Not a stage of the journey. When the heroand heroine cross the threshold,this is where they end up.
  8. 8. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesTests, Enemies and AlliesWhat are some twists and turns of eventsthat test the hero and heroine in their newrelationship?Who helps them? Who stands in their way?This may be the part of the storywhere the hero and heroineresist their attraction.
  9. 9. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesApproach to the Inmost CaveA shift in energy and direction after themidpoint of the story.What events prepare the hero and heroinefor a very big moment in the story? Thiscould be a big step in trust or intimacy.May correspond to thecourtship phase of the story.
  10. 10. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesThe Supreme OrdealWhat major event in the third quarter of thestory really upsets the apple cart?This could be greater intimacy, a revelationor a misunderstanding.Corresponds to the Crisis.
  11. 11. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesSeizing the SwordHow do the characters react to this majorevent, celebrating if it is good, or backingaway from the relationship if it is bad?Think of the Sword as representingConsequences.
  12. 12. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesThe Road BackWhat new direction do the characters takeafter experiencing the consequences?The Black MomentWhat happens at the end of this Stageto make all seem lost?
  13. 13. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesResurrectionWhat do the hero and heroine do to over-come the Black Moment and reconnect?What major character growth (amountingto rebirth) do they achieve and what lifelessons to they learn to be ableto make this change?
  14. 14. The Lovers’ Journey : StagesReturn With the ElixirHow are the lives of the hero and heroinechanged for the better by their struggle toforge this new relationship?What is the positive effect on their friends,family or community?There may be one final flicker of conflict,quickly resolved to sustain tension.
  15. 15. Books by Deborah Hale