The Hero’s Journey: Tests, Allies, & Enemies

We have reached the halfway mark on our hero’s journey. Step Six is called “Tests, Allies, and Enemies.” If you are following the Three-Act Structure, this step initiates Act Two. 

It is at this point that your heroine enters her new, exciting, and possibly scary new world. Your reader should know instantly that this new world is different from your heroine’s Ordinary World. Ask yourself what those differences are and how you will illustrate them. If you’ve chosen to have your heroine remain in the same physical location, then ask how her situation in this same physical location has changed. 

During this step of the journey, your hero will also develop allies. An ally could be a new person the hero meets or someone the hero already knows but sees in a new light. Ask yourself also who are your hero’s enemies and how will he handle them. 

Your heroine will have to learn the rules of this new world she has entered. What are those rules? How will you show them in your story? How will your heroine adapt to the new rules? 

You are now getting into the meat of your story. If you’re like me, you will discover that not only is your main character on a journey, so are you as a writer. Make the most of it and enjoy the trip. Although it may be bumpy at times, it is so worth it! 🙂 

Our next post will cover “Approaching the Inmost Cave.”

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4 thoughts on “The Hero’s Journey: Tests, Allies, & Enemies

  1. We’re still talking about this step on my blog. I broke it down into Villians and Allies. We had quite an interesting discussion on our bad guys. How bad should they be? How far do we do as Christian writers?

    This week, we’re talking about Allies.

    All these characters should move the plot along and reveal things about the heroine. The Enemy forces her to act. Friends support and love her … maybe even hold her back. This causes tension, which we want in our story.

    I’ve used a typical vice with this part of The Hero’s Journey and that was to have enemies who mascarade as allies. By doing so, the reader knows who they are but Akeela doesn’t. And that makes the reader sit on the edge of their seat, waiting to see what happens.

    November 10, 2009 at 8:38 AM