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Write a short-story that follows the elements below:

  1. Someone in the hero’s Ordinary World dies, taking with him (or her) a piece of important information.
  2. The ordinary world, due to lack of that important piece of a information, is now in disarray.
  3. The hero must travel to the land of the dead and retrieve the necessary knowledge.
  4. Reluctantly, the hero starts off.
  5. He or she must pass one test and go through one threshold guardian.
  6. Final confrontation.
  7. Winning of the knowledge.
  8. Return (he or she will not want to… why?)

This is to be turned in before 5:30PM… right now… TODAY.

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For next class you need to have read the chapter called “A Practical Guide”, from The Writer’s Journey, Book One. And from Book Two “Ordinary World” and “Call to Adventure”. Come prepared to take a quiz about it.

It’d be great if you could glance over the chapter called “The Hero”, a concept we have already talked about. Plus the different archetypes that we will start discussing as we encounter them in the movies we watch and stories we read.

Taken

Taken

Having seen Taken, analyze the movie using the hero’s journey structure. Determine the following:

  1. Hero
  2. Ordinary World
  3. What is the crisis that unbalances his world?
  4. What is the special world?
  5. Who are his allies and antagonists?
  6. Who or what delivers his call to adventure?
  7. Define the three acts according to the two main plot points.
  8. When does the hero know what to do to win?
  9. Does he?
  10. Describe the hero’s transformation (called the character arc).

If you do not belong to the section that saw Taken, you do not have to complete this assignment.

Participants from both sections have until this Sunday, 22 January,  to turn in ALL assignments. After that date, the comments sections will be closed and you will lose those points, which, let me remind you, carry a significant wight of the final grade.

From now on, make sure you post your assignments before our next meeting. In other words, assignments posted during one of our meetings have to be completed before we meet again.

Prof. Cabiya

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

Having seen Groundhog Day, analyze the movie using the hero’s journey structure. Determine the following:

  1. Hero
  2. Ordinary World
  3. What is the crisis that unbalances his world?
  4. What is the special world?
  5. Who are his allies and antagonists?
  6. Who or what delivers his call to adventure?
  7. Define the three acts according to the two main plot points.
  8. When does the hero know what to do to win?
  9. Does he?
  10. Describe the hero’s transformation (called the character arc).

As per our discussion, the ordinary world in the Hero’s Journey is the world of common, day-to-day stuff. It is routine, it is boredom. It’s where your character feels secure, even if not necessarily happy or satisfied. It is his or her comfort zone.

What is your hero’s ordinary world? Start thinking this over. How is he closed in, trapped inside? What forces (personal, external, etc.) keep him there? What kind of a force, motivation, crisis can get him out?

Choose your hero’s ordinary world carefully. They should fit each other like a lego piece. This is important because, remember, you will have to create a strong enough situation to get him to abandon it.

Activity

Publish at least three possible scenarios where your hero lives.

This narrative pattern was discovered by Joseph Campbell. He found it to exist everywhere there is a human community. It is a common structure human beings from all cultures share for telling stories. No matter where you go, you’ll find almost the same principles and elements, in the exactly same order.

No doubt many stories in film and literature deviate from this pattern. And some of them probably achieve great or moderate success. They are not very many, though.

Recap:

  1. The Hero is living in his ordinary world. He might not be happy or satisfied, but he is comfortable. This is the world that he knows. In fact, this is the world as he knows it. Only a great crisis could provide the motivation to make him go out of his ordinary world.
  2. A great crisis hits the hero where it hurts and his ordinary world becomes unbalanced. He or she must go out to regain the lost balance and make his or her world whole again. This crisis is his call to adventure. With it there is a mission he must fulfill.
  3. The hero ventures into the special world, the unknown, where he is lost. He must figure everything out, pass tests, vanquish enemies, trick or destroy those who impede his progress. During his stay in the special world, the hero is gradually transformed. He must at the end of this phase reach the lowest point of his quest, where everything seems to be lost.
  4. After this, the hero is thoroughly transformed and knows how to complete his mission. He moves on to the final conflict.
  5. He either wins or loses this final confrontation, according to the mood of the story.
  6. He can accomplish his mission alive or dead: many heroes give their lives in order to achieve perfection and balance. Others die and come back to life, more powerful than before.
  7. If the hero has survived his ordeals and accomplished his mission, he usually turns back and returns to his ordinary world with the boon of what he has learned and acquired.

Here’s the scheme in visual form:

The Hero's Cycle

Activity

Think of three films and deconstruct them using this scheme.