Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 3: The Hero Arc – by K.M. Weiland…

on Helping Writers become Authors:

Ah, the hero. Heroic stories are so important and so prevalent throughout the history of storytelling that the word “hero” itself has become all but synonymous with that of “protagonist.” That the Hero Arc is in fact but one of many important archetypal character arcs does not lessen its importance within the cycle.

The Hero’s Journey came to popular consciousness in the last century with Joseph Campbell’s exploration of the monomyth in The Hero With a Thousand Faces. The ideas in this book were famously utilized to create one of our most influential modern myths—George Lucas’s Star Wars. Later, the ideas would be more explicitly codified as a tool specifically for writers, most notably in Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey. Writers, viewers, and readers alike have clamorously embraced the Hero’s Journey for the obvious reason that it resonatesand resonates deeply.

However, in more recent years, the Hero’s Journey has come under scrutiny for a number of reasons, including:

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