How your hero responds to the Call to Adventure will reveal a lot about them. What is their main objection? What is their main fear about embarking upon this adventure? What are they risking by doing it? This is what the moments of Refusal of the Call are all about.
The stage of Refusal of the Call is not (necessarily) about your hero literally refusing the call. It’s more about the pause before making a decision, it’s about everything that is between the hero and this adventure.
This pause is important because it shows that the adventure is risky (within the scope of your story’s world and genre of course). You can show that in different ways, whether by your hero being reluctant and worried or – if your hero is the type to jump straight in without much contemplation – through other characters that express this fear and doubt.
Refusal of the Call is all about showing the risk and gravity of the Adventure.
The scope and length of this stage will depend on your story, themes, character, and target audience. It can take a long time and additional external pressure for the hero to choose to embark on this adventure or it can only be expressed in a couple of sentences spoken by a worried friend.
As mentioned, the main role of this stage is to show what the risk of embarking on this adventure is for the hero.
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See you next week for the next stage of the Hero’s Journey!