Writing craft

Stage VII: Approach to the Inmost Cave

Now that the hero has kind of settled in and got used to the Special World, it’s time to go deeper: to Approach its Inmost Cave. This is the final stage before the central Ordeal of the adventure, so it’s a time for planning, gathering information, learning the last things the hero still has to learn, gathering all the necessary equipment, to remember why this adventure is of utmost importance and to mentally prepare for the Ordeal.

Elements of this stage:

  • more thresholds (with potential threshold guardians)
  • more special worlds (within the Special World)
  • obstacles
  • illusions
  • (final) warnings
  • more tests
  • complications
  • failed plans
  • higher stakes
  • reminders of the hero’s goal and motivation
  • reminders of why this adventure is necessary

Tips if you get stuck at this stage:

  • Return to the previous paragraph, pick one of the elements, and write a scene about it
  • Think of the following questions: How can you raise the stakes? How can you remind the hero and the audience why this adventure is necessary? How can you add another threshold the hero has to cross? What else does the hero still need to (un)learn? How can you really make the audience and the hero suffer at this point? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ
  • Look back at the lessons the hero has learned before and the Allies they have made. Now is a great time to use all of them.

Before you goโ€ฆ

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See you next week with the next stage of the Heroโ€™s Journey!

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