Musing: Defending the Hero’s Journey.

There’s a conversation buzzing against the epic story template “The Hero’s Journey”.  It is a tried and true method of telling a tale of epic proportions.   Recently it fell under scrutiny and demonized.

If you’re a regular here at you probably know I’m for progressive storytelling.   This is a case where I feel you can’t use the stories built on the formula to damn the formula.

Before you break out the torches and pitchforks, let’s look at the factors that define the Hero’s Journey.


You can apply the template (or formula if you prefer) in countless ways.  You can seamlessly integrate a change in protagonist to make the story just as effective.  The gender of the main character doesn’t dminish the stories effectiveness.

The template itself is very generic, much like any story formula.  With enough cynicism you can boil down any genre down to a painfully predictable formula.  What makes the story unique is what the author does with it.

There are similar preconceptions about Romance.  I learned quite a bit from this article.  I think this is a similar issue.  People pass judgment on the stories created with a recipe and it’s easy to blame the recipe when sometimes we should be blaming the cook.


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