Part 3 of the Hero’s Journey
Well, you can’t jump right into it, can you?
For the sake of suspense, or merely to annoy the reader, or maybe even to include some reality – because when ever do you just drop everything and do something different – we have this reluctant refusal here.
Or is it actually important to make it believable? After all, the journey out of the Ordinary World leads to something unknown, most likely even dangerous. Something is needed to convince the hero, who more or less is jinxed with confusion and reluctance, – this could be the mentor, which I will talk about tomorrow.
In a nice story, this last threshold before the adventure is merely old memories, let’s say an old relationship failed, so we don’t wanna rush into it too quickly. In Star Wars, it is rather dramatic, because Luke decides to stay at home, not going away with Obi-Wan, when his Uncle and Aunt are slaughtered. In E.T., Elliot runs away twice and tells his family to not go looking in the shed – as if that had ever worked.
It might be arguable whether this stage is needed at all times, but I think it’s a good way to include deeper issues from the characters. Most humans don’t go into the unknown darkness easily.
I think the reluctance is important to make it believable. In order to take on a huge quest, the main character needs a good enough reason. I think involving family is a great way to end any reluctance. A character may not want to fight for a vague cause, but for family they'll do just about anything.