the journey of the hero, put into practice

le voyage du héros, mise en pratique

The hero’s journey

Method to apply simply : the Timeline


If you have followed since the beginning you must be eager to apply everything you’ve learned about the hero’s journey. As I specified in one of the previous articles, it is very rare to write his film of a treaty. Personally I do not order the ideas that come to me. I’m sure you are the same. Then how to order it ?

And then how many sequences do I have to write ? Knowing that each point of the hero’s journey is a sequence, you must have already 12 !! For that a scenario takes the road in terms of time and place, you will have to write at least 88 !!! And yes. In fact your scenario is going to have to contain not less than 100 sequences. If you do not know what a sequence is or how should be presented with a scenario read the article : presentation of a scenario.

ATTENTION : The number of sequences may vary. You can have a little less as a little more. I’m leaving on a duration of a film of 90 to 120 minutes.

There are several methods. I’ve more or less tried them all.

– Open a blank document type “word” and a note of your ideas the one after the other. Add each of your ideas one after the other.

Create an Excel table. Write down each idea in a box numbered 1 to 100.

Note all the ideas or all of your flashes in a notebook

These three methods can be good…for someone of a structured, ordered. To me this was not my case, and this may not be the your. I find that to work as it did not allow me :

1 – to have an overview of my story

2 – it is very difficult to move a sequence and replacing it by another etc

3 – the risk of forgetting some of the sequences

So I very quickly abandoned. I needed something more global, more simple. So I had found the ultimate weapon :

– the post-it.

So I bought an untold number of post-it notes, large enough to record a maximum of info on it. I have commandeered a wall of dan‘s office/ room in which I wrote, and the tower was played. I could for a moment view my film, move the post-it at will, remove, exchange, add.

This is a very good method. The problem is that the writing takes weeks, or even months. In general you don’t live alone or you have a social life, you live with your parents : short, full of disadvantages or opportunities of someone you removes these pieces of paper and paste it expertly on your wall. Not to mention the air currents and small annoyances… more at deco it leaves a little to be desired.

I learned that a movie, thatthe screenplay has a main story and side stories. I found myself, therefore, with hundreds of post-it notes of different colours and numbered according to the character‘s and actions. In short, my office was the mark of a psychopath in the making, like a serial killer collecting newspaper articles. So I decided to find a solution, proving at the same time to all my friends that I had not become crazy.

The solution was right in front of me from the beginning :

– the circle that composed the hero’s journey.

Work on a circle is not obvious, but if you make it in the time line then, yes. And it quickly becomes interesting.

Draw a line from point A to B on a large A3 paper or on a word document in landscape mode. Like this :


And then add the name of your main character to the left of point A. And add your 12 sequences of the hero’s journey. ATTENTION : the timeline should be large enough so that you can add to your sequences.

You are ? Well. Now it is very simple. You just need to each time you have an idea or a flash with a sequence of l’to add to your time line (timeline). Depending on the action and the stakeholders as you can imagine, your sequence will be nested between the 12 points of the hero’s journey. Here is an example with a part of your timeline :

Even more than that ! Every time you invent a secondary character, or if you prefer ” an important person “, just add it. Like this :

ATTENTION : Only the history of your heroes close to your scenario. All subplots must be resolved before that of the hero.

In this way you will be in a single glance all of your film, with your own characters. But mostly, you just begin to write your séquencier. Because your time line (timeline) is the summary.

Thanks to this article on how to apply the hero’s journey , and with the timeline you should move forward by leaps and bounds ;o)

You can now return to the plan of the site to read other articles.


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