No, I haven’t read Joseph Campbell or maybe I did in college? I can’t recall. Nevertheless, the hero’s journey is brought up often in fiction. What is it exactly? It’s based on the monomyth. It’s a pattern that’s found in many novels and films. Campbell described it in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. The term was borrowed James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.
According to Campbell, a number of myths from different eras and regions share basic structures and stages, which he summarized in The Hero with a Thousand Faces:
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
Need a better example and less time-consuming one to understand it? Here’s a video produced by Glove and Boots.
And if you like charts, here’s one that I made based on one that D.D. Falvo (you all know her as my friend Denise) created. As you can see, I filled it out and included who I thought fit in each category.
You don’t necessarily need to have all these elements in your story, but I was actually surprised that I have them so I guess I must have studied Campbell in college because it all seemed to ring a bell.
Now off to your own journeys!