Flash fiction and the Hero’s Journey: an invitation

The Hero’s Journey Structure

FMA02We are all heroes on a journey

For the next twelve blog writings, I will challenge the writer in me to apply the twelve steps of the hero’s journey (Joseph Campbell) to the structure of the flash fiction story.  I invite you to share this journey.

The hero’s journey structure is taken from life.  Each of us walks, runs or skips through each life step.  Sometimes I feel that I am walking a straight line and other times I’m circling around and back, like the proverbial snake that swallows its tale.   These steps apply to the writer’s journey as well.

I am currently experimenting on whether or not the hero’s journey structure can work with the very short story.

Is it too cumbersome and lengthy to adapt such a structure into the small story?

Flash fiction offers a thousand words or fewer, compression of fictional elements and a “wrapped around” story that satisfies the reader.

Today, we begin with step one.

1. Orient and ground the reader to his “ordinary world,” whatever that might be.

Here’s the first line of a flash I wrote yesterday.

“My father had his fifth heart attack one hour before I boarded the Qantas flight from LA to Sydney.”

Do you think it grounds the reader?    You decide.

I invite your feedback.

Prompt for today:

Write the first sentence of a story and ground your reader in the main character’s ordinary world.

                       The 12 steps of the hero’s journey     


  1.         Ordinary world
  2.         Call to adventure
  3.         Refusal of the call
  4.         Meeting the Mentor
  5.         Crossing the First Threshold
  6.         Tests, Allies, Enemies
  7.         Approach to the Inmost Cave
  8.         Ordeal
  9.         Reward
  10.        The Road Back
  11.        Resurrection
  12.        Return with the Elixir


(resource: Joseph Campbell   http://www.jcf.org/new/index.php )


Kaye LindenFlash fiction and the Hero’s Journey: an invitation

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