Lesson #25 The New Hero’s Journey in 12 Archetypal Steps

Updated: Feb 2, 2020

#storytemplate #featurefilm #filmstructure #theherosjourney


How to structure a story or a feature film in 12 steps/images using the Intuitive Screenwriting Wheel as an archetypal matrix behind the hero’s journey.



El Retiro, Madrid, Spain

The main difference between the hero’s progression on the wheel and the hero’s journey (Campbell, Vogler) is that the wheel suggests that every step is not just a single point in time,

but is a certain motion,

a conflict between two archetypes,

a story in itself…

a trigger that is built into the step.

The wheel uses archetypes in both an inclusive and conflicting way at the same time.


I believe that just by being aware of the dynamics behind each step, we, writers, come closer to understanding (and cracking) our stories, that are, by definition, changes in motion.


I suggest that when you structure your story or film to literally write or even draw images that come to you regarding each step on the list. Also, be aware of the fact that the second half of the film/story is the mirror opposite to the first half. During the first half we encounter opposing archetypes in conflict, while during the second half, these same archetypes become integrated.


Also, you can use the following list as your template to write a synopsis. Be creative.



Intuitive Screenwriting Wheel by Ana Lasic


The Ana Lasic Story Template


Themes inside the Hero’s progression through 12 archetypal steps


Within each step in your story, there are two forces that are in conflict with each other. Which force will win within your hero?


Warrior-->Fool (Wish storyline) BATTLEFIELD

Pain caused by the wrong identity vs. all possible identities. The main conflict is introduced.


Creator-->Orphan (Need storyline) HEART’S DESIRE

Hero’s heart vs. non-authentic relationships.


Explorer-->Magician (Wish storyline) A BETTER LIFE IS POSSIBLE

Wrong belief vs. new vision.


Lover-->Caregiver (Wish storyline) LOVE INTRODUCED

Love triggers fear (overprotectiveness).


Sage-->Destroyer (Need storyline) REASONS BEHIND SUFFERING

Healing provokes self-destructiveness.


Ruler-->Innocent (Wish storyline) WISH FULFILLED, THE FAKE VICTORY

Controlling the outside world vs. the soul’s real purpose can cause a big loss.


Fool-->Warrior (Need storyline) DOUBLE IDENTITY - FOOL AND GAMES UPSIDE DOWN (INSIDE OUT)

Right (new) and wrong (old) identity meet, the hero is fooled by fools.


Orphan-->Creator (Wish storyline) PROBLEMS IN (CRISS-CROSS) RELATIONSHIPS

Fairness between relationships and the hero’s heart, freedom. Cheating.


Magician-->Explorer (Need storyline) TRUTH IS KNOWN

Right belonging changes the hero’s belief structure.


Caregiver-->Lover (Need storyline) FINAL SEPARATION

Growing up. Vulnerability leads to love/the reward. The Light vs. the Dark.


Destroyer-->Sage (Wish storyline) KILL OR HEAL (Change or die)

Facing the biggest enemy (fear) brings healing. The final battle.