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The 188 stage Hero's Journey (Monomyth) is the template upon which the vast majority of successful stories and Hollywood blockbusters are based upon. In fact, ALL of the hundreds of Hollywood movies we have deconstructed (see URL below) are based on this 188+ stage template. Understanding this template is a priority for story or screenwriters. This is the template you must master if you are to succeed in the craft. [The terminology is most often metaphoric and applies to all successful stories and screenplays, from The Godfather (1972) to Brokeback Mountain (2006) to Annie Hall (1977) to Lord of the Rings (2003) to Drugstore Cowboy (1989) to Thelma and Louise (1991) to Apocaplyse Now (1979)]. THERE IS ONLY ONE STORY THE 188 STAGE HERO'S JOURNEY: a) Attempts to tap into unconscious expectations the audience has regarding what a story is and how it should be told. b) Gives the writer more structural elements than simply three or four acts, plot points, mid point and so on. c) Gives you a tangible process for building and releasing dissonance (establishing and achieving catharses, of which there are usually four). d) Tells you what to write. For example, at a certain stage of the story, the focus should be on the Call to Adventure and the micro elements within. ABRIDGED TIPS, EXCERPTS AND EXAMPLES: (simply go to for full details) *****Descent into the Cave***** The Hero et al descend into a Cave. The Cave is a metaphor for a sub-domain within the First Threshold. In When Harry met Sally (1989), Harry meets Sally in the airport (a sub-domain of New York City).

Descent can be interpreted in many ways - the Hero can physically and mentally descend, he can go deeper in the sense of involvement or familiarization. In Dances with Wolves (1990), Fort Hayes is initially unwelcoming and alien. But John Dunbar makes it his home. Certain characteristics are noticeable: Dark and Unknown. The descent is often dark and the Hero et al seem as if they are travelling into the unknown or unexpected. Anything could happen here. Pull Down. The Hero et al have no choice but to descend; something forces them there. In The Matrix (1999), Neo literarily falls form the pod. Resistance. There may be resistances. Foreboding. Phrases like "I don't like the look of this" are common. Warnings. Phrases like "don't go there" are common.

Learn moreÂ… WRITE THAT SCREENPLAY! The Complete 188 stage HeroÂ’s Journey and other story structure templates can be found at 188 stages of the Hero's Journey can also be reached from You can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering your email address at this site. You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made, the author's name is retained and the link to our site URL remains active. ********************************** Kal Bishop, MBA

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188 Stage Hero's Journey, Monomyth - Descent into the Cave