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What is the call to adventure?

The call to adventure is a crucial element of the hero’s journey, a narrative pattern found in many works of fiction. It serves as the catalyst that propels the hero from their ordinary world into an extraordinary realm of adventure, growth, and transformation. We will explore the significance of the call to adventure and how it sets the stage for the hero’s journey, shaping their character and the trajectory of the story.

The Hero’s Introduction and Ordinary World

Before the call to adventure, it is essential to introduce the hero and establish their ordinary world. This serves as the baseline against which the hero’s transformation will be measured. The reader becomes familiar with the hero’s daily life, routines, relationships, and conflicts. By providing this context, the call to adventure disrupts the hero’s familiar existence and creates a compelling contrast between their ordinary world and the extraordinary journey that lies ahead.

The Nature of the Call

The call to adventure can take various forms, each presenting a unique challenge or opportunity for the hero. It may come in the form of a messenger arriving with a quest, a prophetic vision or dream foretelling the hero’s destiny, or a sudden crisis that demands the hero’s action. The call is often accompanied by a sense of urgency or danger, creating a tension that propels the hero to embark on their journey. This moment acts as a turning point, igniting the hero’s curiosity, courage, and sense of purpose.

Reluctance and Acceptance

It is common for the hero to initially respond to the call with reluctance, fear, or self-doubt. Leaving the comfort and familiarity of their ordinary world can be daunting. The hero may feel unprepared, inadequate, or apprehensive about the challenges that await them. This reluctance humanizes the hero and adds depth to their character. However, through the guidance of a mentor, a personal revelation, or the realization of a deeper purpose, the hero finds the inner strength and resolve to accept the call. This acceptance signifies their commitment to the journey, setting in motion a series of transformative events.

The Journey Begins

Accepting the call marks the beginning of the hero’s transformative journey. Leaving behind the safety of their ordinary world, the hero steps into the unknown. They venture into uncharted territories, both physical and metaphorical, encountering trials, obstacles, and opportunities for growth along the way. The journey becomes a metaphor for personal development, as the hero’s experiences parallel the challenges individuals face in their own lives. Through their journey, the hero will learn valuable lessons, confront their fears, and uncover hidden strengths.

Trials, Allies, and Enemies

As the hero progresses on their journey, they face a series of trials and challenges that test their strength, resilience, and character. These obstacles may come in the form of physical or mental challenges, conflicts with adversaries, or internal struggles. However, the hero is not alone. They may gain allies and friends who provide support, guidance, and assistance in overcoming obstacles. These allies often represent different aspects of the hero’s personality, offering diverse perspectives and skills. On the other hand, the hero may encounter enemies and adversaries who serve as obstacles to be overcome. These encounters shape the hero’s resolve, determination, and strategic thinking, further deepening their character arc.

Personal Growth and Revelation

The hero’s journey is a path of self-discovery and personal growth. Through their encounters and experiences, the hero confronts their deepest fears, weaknesses, and limitations. They gain new insights, develop new skills, and acquire wisdom along the way. The hero’s growth is not limited to their physical abilities but encompasses emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects. They undergo a transformative process, shedding old beliefs and behaviors, and embracing new perspectives and qualities.

The Hero’s Transformation

Through the trials, experiences, and personal growth of the journey, the hero undergoes a profound transformation. They evolve from an ordinary individual into someone who is capable of facing and overcoming extraordinary challenges. The hero’s transformation is not only physical but also psychological and spiritual. They may acquire special abilities or knowledge, cultivate inner strength, or find a deeper sense of purpose. This transformation prepares the hero for their ultimate purpose or destiny and equips them with the tools necessary to confront the story’s central conflict.

The call to adventure is a pivotal moment in the hero’s journey, setting them on a path of growth, discovery, and transformation. It signifies the departure from their ordinary world and the embrace of the unknown. Through trials, allies, and enemies, the hero learns valuable lessons, confronts their fears, and evolves into a stronger version of themselves. The hero’s journey is not only a narrative pattern in fiction but also a reflection of the universal human experience of facing challenges and embracing change. By understanding the significance of the call to adventure and its role in shaping the hero’s journey, writers can create compelling and impactful stories that resonate with readers on a profound level.

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Published inWritingWriting tips


  1. LG LG

    You just gave me the formula to write the book that has been hiding inside of me for years. Thank you!

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