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  • Writer's pictureDan

Mapping Scenes to the Hero’s Journey

Autumnal leaves, Copyright Dan
Autumnal Time of Year, Copyright Dan


While reading the chapters about the steps in the hero’s journey in Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey, I started mapping chapters I’ve been working on in the Great Rewrite to steps along the journey. The cool thing about this is that characters face specific challenges and growth opportunities at each stage of the hero’s journey. So, mapping critical scenes to the steps is an excellent way to evaluate if the characters are facing challenges of the hero’s journey or not. This strikes me as a great technique to ensure you’re getting the maximum impact out of crucial scenes, especially in sci-fi and fantasy adventure stories which I happen to fancy writing.

Anyway, Vogler even offers essentially what I just described as a story planning phase technique – I agree with him that this seems like a potent tool. He also proposes using the 3x5 cards as part of the process since the 12 steps of the hero’s journey don’t have to follow a strictly linear progression from 1 through 12. The cards are meant to make it easy to move scenes around.

At about three quarters the way through this craft manual I continue to be impressed by the many insights I find on every page. Highly recommended.

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