Monday, October 5, 2009

Crash Course on Craft: The Hero’s Journey Part 1

God is a God of order, not of chaos.

The universe He created reflects this. Planets spin around the sun and the galaxy whirls through space without use worrying about an ever-imminent collision. The tides lap upon the shore and recede back into place. Seasons change, each occurring in the order God designed them to have. Babies are born, plants grow, day and night cycle through. Life moves forward to an inaudible rhythm God set into place at the beginning of time.

Story is an echo of life. Therefore, story has a cadence too.

The writing world calls this cadence a variety of names: Mythic structure, plot arc, three-act structure. For the sake of this study, I’ll call this cadence by the name I learned it by, “The Hero’s Journey.” (Hero refers here to any protagonist, male or female.) But whatever it’s called, most agree that a similar cadence does exist in the best stories, whether it was employed consciously or not.

And unless story coordinates with that cadence, something is lost and the story does not feel right.

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