Flowchart and plan

Plan of Action

1 Starting from home, an introduction to our hero and the soup of their ordinary daily world

2 The call to adventure - what is going to happen - the plot is going to thicken

3 The refusal - our intrepid adventurer does not want to leave the warmth and comfort -

4 there may be a character here that gives the hero a little push, sends them on their way

5 The journey - every story is a sort of journey - a journey through and to a special place

6 Meeting the good person and getting help, or being given something that will help later on, being tested.

7 Something bad is going to happen, we meet the bad person, or maybe several, and prepare to engage in battle

8 It is very dangerous, we nearly die - our hero that is

9 But of course we beat them in the end And claim the reward

10 They head for home, but they are pursued, it is not over yet

11 A final life and death struggle

12 And return home victorious, battered and changed, renewed.

1. Ordinary World

Start your story by setting the scene, this is a description of the ordinary world from which the adventure will spring, describe the setting, set the mood of the story. This may be the point at which you introduce your main characters, your Heroine or Hero.

2. Call to Adventure

This is the call to adventure that gets the plot rolling. Ordinary life is disrupted with a problem that needs a solution, or the developing of a situation. Your hero or heroine may be given a challenge, set a task or quest.

3. Refuse the Call

Your main character refuses the call to adventure, gets cold feet. They show that they are human. They don’t want to get out of bed to risk failure or face danger. We have to know that the journey will not be an easy one.

4. A Mentor

A bit of persuasion is needed from a Mentor. A bit of advice and guidance. A push in the right direction. The Mentor may not be a character, but could be an object, a key, a map, or a book perhaps.

5. First Threshold

So the journey starts, the threshold is crossed and there is no going back. Here you can get quite descriptive, build up the mood of the characters and setting.

6. Tests, Allies and Enemies

Your heroine or hero faces tests and challenges. They prove that they are worthy. They may find allies and makes enemies. This is the initiation, the testing, the learning. They may even meet the shadow character.

7. Approaching the Inmost Cave

This is the time for making plans and gathering the tools and nerve to face the enemy.

8. Ordeal

Now they face an ordeal. This is a high point of the story. Life and death is in the balance. They must overcome difficult challenges and confront their fears.

9 Reward

The Heroine or Hero is triumphant, they have won. They have stared death in the face and they have defeated it. They have earned their reward, whatever this might be; riches or love, or simply to have survived.

10. The Return

The return Journey may not be easy, but eventually they will return to the ordinary world from which they departed. There may well be dangers to be faced on the road back, more challenges.

11. Resurrection

This may be the final challenge, and the biggest. The Hero or Heroine may face the shadow directly, confront their greatest fear or enemy, reach to the very brink of death, offer the greatest sacrifice. And survive, purged, a worthy Hero or Heroine.

12 Return Home

The travellers return to the ordinary world. They may be wiser, or richer. They may have found love or knowledge. Whatever the outcome, they have survived the ordeal, they are changed.

The 7 Archetypes

1. The Hero - (or Heroine, or both) - the central character of the story, the one who faces the challenges.

2. The Mentor - who provides motivation, encouragement, support.

3. The Threshold Guardian - who protects the special world, and tests the Hero

4. The Herald - who issues announcements, challenges and messages

5. The Shapeshifter - who may mislead the Hero by wearing masks, not being who they may seem to be

6. The Shadow - the dark side, the enemy, the villain, our greatest fear or phobia.

7. The Trickster - the jester or clown who may use cleverness, laughter and ridicule to make characters see more clearly, to force change.

The word ‘archetype’ means the ‘typical’ or
‘original model’ - the ‘essence’ of a person, a behaviour or a personality.

The psychologist Carl Jung is famous for his ideas on archetypes - an understanding of character traits that we are somehow born with, that is a deep part of our subconscious, inherited as we inherit our language and our culture.

We can all recognise the archetype of the good guy, or the bad guy, no matter who we are or where we come from.

The 7 archetypes here have been identified as being particularly relevant to fairy tales, myths and other stories and tales.