hero's journey resurrection
Writing craft

Stage XI: The Resurrection

Now the hero faces the final meeting with death – it is time for the story’s climax. The stakes are higher than ever before. It is time for the hero to show if they have truly learned their lesson (from the Ordeal) or not.

What are the main differences between the Ordeal and the Resurrection?

Usually, the Ordeal is all about the hero and their transformation, they (or someone close to them) are the one in danger. On the other hand, the Resurrection has higher, broader, more global stakes (depending on the genre and style, of course). Something much bigger than just the hero is in danger, possibly the entire structure of the Special World.

When facing the Ordeal, the hero was still a clueless noob. That was the biggest learning moment for them – whether they immediately learned their lesson or whether it just opened up their perspective to be able to truly learn the lesson later on. But the Resurrection is about the hero (you guessed it) resurrecting as their new self, with the lesson integrated into their behaviour. The Resurrection is the chance for the hero to truly use the lesson they may have learned to defeat the antagonist forces.

In other words:

The Ordeal is about learning the lesson, the Resurrection is about integrating and using it. Or not using it, if your hero hasn’t learned it, of course. In any case, this is the final exam, the ultimate test that will reveal that.

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

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