My first novel, as well as others I’ll write, will be based on a popular story structure: “The Journey”. You’ll often times find me referring to a journey, primarily due to the relation to my first novel, but also due to the many emotions and story variants it can accommodate. The arc of a journey has been used by many writers: J.R.R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings, Steven King in The Gunslinger, and Douglas Adams in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. All these authors and more know what it means to embark on a truly fascinating adventure. The concept of the journey is fascinating in that it presents so many different possibilities and challenges for the hero to encounter and overcome. The hero may run into many different characters along the way, and because they’re travelling, they can be as diverse and unique as the author can fathom. They can run from something, run to something or simply be travelling for survival. They’ll be forced to deal with hunger, assailants, nature and mental stability. All of these things and more are perfect reasons to have your protagonist embark on a journey, and they all share one common theme: “Overcome”. The characters’ ability to overcome or even to fail to overcome obstacles is something that every human being can relate to.
In addition to all of the obvious, physical aspects of the journey, there is one thing that encompasses all of the above and more: the mental journey. Being able to overcome yourself, or your own mind, whether dealing with a mental impairment, such as amnesia, or a more basic emotion like an overwhelming fear of spiders when your goal lies deep within a dark, web-ridden cave. Movies with big twists where it was all in the mind of a mental patient take the concept of overcoming ones mental deficiencies to an absolute extreme, but still hit the “mental journey nail” on the head and are often having the character overcome many of these mental obstacles at once. But again, that similar underlying theme pokes its timid head out. The journey to prevail over something is not only one of the most intriguing and promising aspects of story architecture, but it is also one of the oldest. Tales told by our ancestors thousands of years ago were about a person overcoming a large beast or retrieving a great treasure from a god and are still told and replicated today.
As you can see, this is something that is prominent throughout our entire history and will make a prominent return in my book, which is the reason I chose to write about this interesting bit of story structure. Hopefully you will be able to recognize it in my tale as well. You may or may not have already known about this concept, but hopeful this helps shed some light on how it is prominent in our everyday lives, even if we don’t immediately recognize it.