The Hero’s Journey: How to write a compelling and engaging story

12 steps to do better storytelling

I always find it extra hard to start a story.

The blank page syndrome always kicks in. And it’s often a good excuse to do something else.

I thought I could never be good content writer — with English as my 2nd language not helping.

But recently, a young talented entrepreneur — Josh Fechter — has really inspired me. I discovered him through a closed Facebook Group I’ve joined 4 months ago: BAMF -Badass Marketers and Founders.

He shared within the group very compelling stories in a direct format that made his stories more engaging than usual. Members of the group have started to share the same type.

I’ve tried to decipher the pattern of these posts beyond the guides Josh and the community share.

There was a common denominator to all the posts:

They are phases of a hero’s journey.

It’s a pattern of narrative formalized by scholar Joseph Campbell.

Here’s a summary of his work that I hope will help writing your next piece:

  • THE ORDINARY WORLD: The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically so the audience can identify with the situation or dilemma.
  • THE CALL TO ADVENTURE: Something shakes up the situation, from external pressures or from something rising up from deep within.
  • REFUSAL OF THE CALL: The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly.
  • MEETING WITH THE MENTOR: The hero comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey.
  • CROSSING THE THRESHOLD: At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values.
  • TESTS, ALLIES, AND ENEMIES: The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.
  • APPROACH: The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.
  • THE ORDEAL: Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear. Out of the moment of death comes a new life.
  • THE REWARD: The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death.
  • THE ROAD BACK: The hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home.
  • THE RESURRECTION: At the climax, the hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of home. He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level.
  • RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR: The hero returns home or continues the journey, bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed.

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on July 27, 2017.

Growth Marketing Matters

A blog for busy founders and growth marketing professionals to snack on growth strategies and experiments - curated and designed by The Growth Concierge.

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Growth Marketing Matters

A blog for busy founders and growth marketing professionals to snack on growth strategies and experiments - curated and designed by The Growth Concierge.

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