Hero’s Journey Outline


  • The Normal World
    This is the beginning of the story where the main character/protagonist (Hero) is leading an ordinary life, in an everyday world that is familiar and common to him.
  • The Call to Adventure
    The adventure begins with the hero receiving a call to action, such as a threat to the peace of the community, or the hero simply falls into or blunders into it. The call is often announced to the hero by another character who acts as a “herald”. The herald, often represented as dark or terrifying and judged evil by the world, may call the character to adventure simply by the crisis of his appearance.
  • The Reluctant Hero
    In some stories, the hero initially refuses the call to adventure. When this happens, the hero may suffer somehow, and may eventually choose to answer, or may continue to decline the call. After having perhaps first refused to accept the The Call to Adventure the hero finally accedes, realizing that there is nobody else who is better qualified to or available to accept responsibility. This acceptance may come after reflection and persuasion following the Refusal of the Call, or the hero may be convinced by a mentor who provides Supernatural Aid.
  • Supernatural Aid
    Some help is given to the hero, sufficient to make them wiser and stronger, and hopefully better able to face the challenges of the adventure. The aid given may include maps, information, weapons or some special talisman. It may be discovered by the hero, but is often furnished by a mentor of some kind.
  • The Wise Old Man/Guide
    The hero may also be joined by a companion of some kind or perhaps an entire party, who will provide help along the way but cannot do what the hero must do.
  • Enter the Void
    At this point, the Hero undertakes his first challenge, the outcome of which compels the Hero to embark on the quest; leaving the ordinary world, and stepping into the new world. The void is sometimes described as the hero’s lowest point, but it is actually the point when the person is between between worlds. The separation has been made, or is being made, or being fully recognized between the old world/old self and the potential for a new world/self. The experiences that will shape the new world and self will begin shortly, or may be beginning with this experience which is often symbolized by something dark, unknown and frightening. By entering this stage, the person shows their willingness to undergo a metamorphosis, to die to him or herself


  • Find Friends and Foes
    At this stage, Hero must identify his Allies and Enemies (enemies can include a rival, who may go back and forth between being friend and foe as circumstances change). And the Hero must quickly learn the rules and constraints of the Special World. This is a time of exploration; the storyteller-world-builder should provide a wealth of detail —meaningful detail — for the hero to explore.
  • The Yellow Brick Road
    The group have some “down time” and enjoy the calm before the storm
  • Road of Trials
    Once past the threshold, the hero encounters a dream landscape of ambiguous and fluid forms. The hero is challenged to survive a succession of obstacles and, in so doing, amplifies his consciousness. The hero is helped covertly by the supernatural helper or may discover a benign power supporting him in his passage.
  • Onslaught of Tests
    At one level, this step is about those temptations that may lead the hero to abandon or stray from his or her quest, the revulsion that the hero may feel about his own nature, and the projection of that revulsion onto the empowering helper. The hero must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his or her life. In many myths and stories this is the father, or a father figure who has life and death power. This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving in to this place, all that follow will move out from it. Although this step is most frequently symbolized by an encounter with a male entity, it does not have to be a male; just someone or thing with incredible power. For the transformation to take place, the person as he or she has been must be “killed” so that the new self can come into being.
  • The Inmost Cave
    The Inmost Cave is a special world within a world where the supreme wonder and terror awaits. The Inmost Cave is the villain’s lair — it may be a cave, a castle, a city, a planet — anywhere. The hero must prepare for the ordeal and remain on guard against illusions and temptations. At this stage, the hero and his allies may make plans, do reconnaissance on the enemy, try to psych out the opponent, regroup. The stakes are higher here than in earlier challenges the hero faced.
  • The Knowledge Gained
  • A Taste of Victory
  • Refusal of Return
  • Resurrection of Good
  • Flight and Pursuit
  • Return of Evil


  • The Final Battle
  • The Reward
  • Seizing the Sword
  • The Road Home
  • The Safe Journey Home

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