Now that the hero in Writer's Journey has Seized the Sword, she must head back to the Ordinary World. Her trials are not over. Let's look at the last three of the 12 elements to a successful story according to this book.
Element 10 - The Road Back
Although the hero has what she wanted, her trip back to the Ordinary World becomes harried because she must leave this special world of seeking her goal through more temptations, tests and dangers. Leaving this world in movies often brings about the best chase scenes. Take for instance, ET when he and Elliott go on a moonlight bicycle ride.
Element 11 - Resurrection
The hero faces similar incidents of danger and complications as in the Ordeal. She must be cleansed of all the past before she can return to the Ordinary World. She is tested one last time to prove she learned the lessons of the Ordeal.
Element 12 - Return with the Elixir
The hero cannot return to the Ordinary World empty-handed. She must bring a treasure or lesson, the Elixir, back with her. In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy learned she is loved at home. In fact, she states in the movie, "There's no place like home."
Remember that the elements listed here are a framework, not to be necessarily followed precisely. Each story may change the order, leave out some elements or add to them without losing any of the power. In writing the story the elements should blend so that no one recognizes them. The elements fit well into modern stories as well. The mentor may not be a fairy, wizard, or shaman, but a teacher, parent, or any helping person instead.
"The Hero's Journey is infinitely flexible, capable of endless variation without sacrificing any of its magic, and will outlive us all." page 27.
Now that you have a map to a successful story, Thursday we'll discuss the characters who fill the story's pages - Archetypes.
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