Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hero's Journey Template

Recently I had a great discussion with an old friend about writing, publishing and story structure. Pantsers grow queasy with any mention of an outline or planning and Outliners develop the shakes without an agenda to follow. There's not a right way or a wrong way. Like a good Libra, I fall smack dab in the middle of the two. The artist in me wants the autonomy of free expression and no rules when I write. However, the even keeled, disciplined part of my head requires at least some signposts along the way to reassure me.

Enter, once again, Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. There are no shortage of tools and diagrams available for you to peruse, just fire up the Google. I married a few concepts together to create a storyboard template. I used the boxes above each stage to map a story I was working on that I knew lacked something, but I couldn't figure out what. Using this method made it painfully clear my story fell apart in the beginning of ACT III.

I used this template to help find and fix a structure problem. You can use it how ever you would like. Maybe to plan your next story, brainstorm alternatives or just print it out and doodle on the back.

Doesn't matter to me, just keep writing.


  1. Oooooo! Love it. Thank you for sharing.

  2. this is great!
    What's great about it is that the writer of director is pushed to find that visual that demostrates these important moments.

  3. Hi, Karl -- Thanks for putting this up. I'm sharing it with my readers and have a link back to your post.

  4. EW, You're welcome!

    Zen, Yup. It works in many ways. Like any tool in the hands of a creative person, it can be used to help solve many problems.

    Thanks for the link Darla. I hope your readers find it useful.