• Departure: the Hero leaves the familiar world behind.
  • Initiation: the Hero learns to navigate the unfamiliar world of adventure.
  • Return: the Hero returns to the familiar world.

Examples in Movies and Novels:
From Ms. Leach:
-almost any superhero movie
-The Wizard of Oz
-Star Wars
-The Chronicles of Narnia
-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
-Back to the Future
-The Matrix
-Indiana Jones
-Never Ending Story
Student Ideas:
-Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit
-Hunger Games
-Monster's Inc.
-Finding Nemo
-How to Train Your Dragon
-The Lion King
-Wreck It Ralph
-Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

1. DEPARTURE – Hero leaves the familiar world behind

Ordinary World (KNOWN) – Where the story begins – the Hero’s hometown. The Hero may be unhappy with where s/he is and wish for adventure.

Call to Adventure – The Hero learns that s/he must leave the known world behind and travel into the land of adventure. The Hero must then decide how to answer the Call:
----Refusal of the Call
----Jumped at the Call

Supernatural Aid – The Hero receives some kind of magical (or non-magical) item to help them.

Crossing the First Threshold - The Hero must make a decision to embark on the adventure and leave the known world behind. The Hero may encounter:
----Threshold Guardians – Figure or event that tests the Hero's resolve.

2. INITIATION – Hero learns to navigate the unknown world of adventure

The Land of Adventure (UNKNOWN): The Hero enters a strange new realm, where the "rules" are much different from the ordinary world.

Mentor: An experienced advisor that helps the hero.

Road of Trials: Usually the meat of the story that includes Tests, Allies (Helpers), and Enemies.
May also include a Shape-shifter that the hero is unsure if they should trust.

Apotheosis/Transformation: The Hero comes to view the world in a new and different way.

Fight Against the “Big Bad”: The Hero confronts the “Big Bad”.

Ultimate Boon: The Hero achieves the reward he’s been chasing all this time.

3. RETURN – Hero returns to the familiar world

Refusal of the Return: At this point in the story, the Hero has mastered the unknown world and may not want to return to the known world.

The Return/Magic Flight: The Hero now has the boon and high-tails it away, with the villain or his forces in hot pursuit. The hero must use the skills he’s learned to escape.

Rescue from Without: The Hero may need help from allies/mentors to return.

Master of the Two Worlds: The Hero has become comfortable and competent in both worlds.