Posted in For the Promptless, On Writing, Post a Day/Week

Monomyth: The Plot Line of Life


For this week’s Prompt for the Promptless I wasn’t sure what to write. At first I was thinking about writing a fairy tale or myth. I even wrote up a nice little fairy tale that went so far off the mark that I don’t feel comfortable posting it for this prompt.

Monomyth: Also known as the Hero’s Journey is a concept coined by Joseph Campbell. The monomyth argues that every story follows the same basic plot line.

English: This image outlines the basic path of...
“Hero’s Journey”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not going to argue the concept of the Monomyth because I do believe that the majority of plots follow the same idea.

  • Something happens
  • A hero, who is usually reluctant, accepts the challenge of fixing the problem
  • Along the way, more things happen
  • The hero, who may have help, deals with the conflicts
  • The hero comes across the biggest challenge and has some trouble overcoming it
  • The hero eventually triumphs over the challenge and is usually awarded something (treasure, king’s daughter in marriage, the sacred sword of Swinter)
  • The hero returns home (and often faces challenges along the way)

Does this plot line seem familiar? It should because most stories will fit into this plot line. In fact, life seems to fit well into the monomyth plot line as well.

Life is all about conflict and challenges. It is about overcoming these obstacles just like the hero in the monomyth. And, as most writers take inspiration from life, a lot of stories have the monomyth plot line.

Would it surprise you to know that The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien follow this base plot line? What about Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling? Criminal Minds and Castle follow this base plot as well.

Can you think of any stories that follow the monomyth? How can you make the Monomyth better? Does your life follow the monomyth?


Before you go check out the other blogs that responded to the call of the Promptless:

Journey Called Life – Just a Regular Savior

One Starving Activist – Conversion

Mama Bear Musings – Monomyth

This Typing Makes Me Look Busy – The Adventures of Wrendolyn

Serendipity – The Cardinal and the Cat

Blog of the Imaginator – Delusions of Grandeur


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