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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hero's Journey, Monomyth (188 Stages) Screenplay Structure


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)].



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.


(simply go to for full details)

*****First Threshold Middle Cave*****

The Middle cave of the First Threshold is where the Hero meets Allies and Enemies. This is also then, obviously, where subplots are initiated or further developed. In Straw Dogs (1971), Henry plays with Janice.

*****Belly of the Whale*****

It is in the Belly of the Whale where the Hero comes face to face with what he (or she) must become or deal with or be. In Straw Dogs (1971), Cawsey asks if "...they got anything worth taking...ten months inside is enough for me...." ; Ratboy steals Amy's knickers; "...I want what was in them....."

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