The Hero’s Journey-Sara Haller

What I am having the most trouble grasping is what the application of the Hero’s Journey is in my own personal writing. I would be interested to see what the class has to say about that. If any of you would care to write about that or comment I would like to read your thoughts.

My view is that knowing about these seven character roles and understanding how they interact to create a story can help a writer know how to create their own successful story. Obviously this theory is a recipe to create a work that is entertaining and time and time again has shown that it works. If one wants to create a good story they can start with a solid idea and follow the rules laid out in the Hero’s Journey theory and it’s likely they’ll end up with something intriguing.

I have wondered if a story can be successful without these characters and elements. For example, Sheryl Strayed’s recent New York Times Bestseller “Wild” could be a story that does not adhere to the Hero’s Journey theory though some could possibly abstract it to fit within that structure. I personally think if something has to be bent to fit within a theory than the theory loses it’s value appertaining to that thing.

The purpose of a work is the main factor in the need to apply the Hero’s Journey character structure to it. It seems like it works well for stories that are truly stories in the least abstract way like “I am going to tell you a story” rather than “Their instagram feed tells a story…” Story can be more abstract or straightforward and depending on which you choose I believe the application varies.


3 thoughts on “The Hero’s Journey-Sara Haller

  1. meaganmthornton January 30, 2015 / 5:33 pm

    I find it interesting how you view the hero’s journey as a recipe for writers to follow, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s a pattern I’ve been subconsciously using in my own writing. I don’t actively think about the pattern in the hero’s journey, but I do think about starting the character as an average or outcast and using an event to spur them into action, etcetera, etcetera. I guess I’ve been using the hero’s journey all along without really realizing it.

    Then again, I do feel like the hero’s journey definition may be too vague at times. This gives advocates the ability to be able to pick out almost any story and attribute hero’s journey characteristics to it regardless of how closely it really applies.


  2. meaganmthornton February 8, 2015 / 11:04 pm

    I will try to have us discuss how the hero’s journey can apply to personal writing in class one day. Thanks for the idea. – Meagan


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