hero's journey the road back
Writing craft

Stage X: The Road Back

While the previous stage of the Hero’s Journey (Reward) gave us a bit of relief from all the tense emotions that had been building up, now it is time to remember the journey is not over yet.

It may seem like the hero has learned their lesson but they will have to prove that (but wait, not yet, that comes at the next stage). First, the hero (and the audience) need to remember what the point of this journey was in the first place. It is time for the hero to remember their goal in the Special World and rededicate themselves to the journey.

With the Road Back, we are transitioning to Act 3 and this is where the story needs to build up some of its momentum again. This is a common phase of chase scenes, hints of the antagonist’s retaliation, and various setbacks. Sure, the hero may have gotten their reward but the antagonistic forces are still strong and have not been defeated yet.

If you get stuck at this stage and can’t seem to get the story moving, brainstorm ways to remind the hero of why this journey matters to them and ways for them to encounter setbacks.

A great tip is also to think of your story’s climax – the Road Back is the build-up to the climax. Keep that in mind – once you know to what point you have to bring the story, it will be easier to find the path.

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

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