We’ve reached the part of your story that is often called The Dark Night of the Soul. It’s a second meeting with death for your main character and the very biggest moment in your entire story. Unless you’re writing a tragedy, this part of your story will be the darkest, worst moment for your protagonist.
Your hero’s Resurrection starts with a brush with death which is your story’s main climax–the fourth of five key plot points. Your character, at this point, will make a final big push toward change.
This lesson has one assignment. Read “The Resurrection” in The Hero’s Journey.
The Dark Night of the Soul
Your character has been through a lot so far. They’ve changed drastically, their old Ordinary World probably seems a million miles away. Maybe by now they know that the road that they’re on will never lead them back to their comfortable place.
In this scene, you have the chance to show (rather than tell) the change that’s happened in your MC. This scene is hard to write, because it can be tough to be mean to a character you feel so connected to. But the main climax is the time when everything your MC has learned and every change they’ve been through comes together.
You need to think about your protagonist’s stakes now. They have to be high. It isn’t just themselves that they’re saving. This is the time when they become a true hero, saving everyone in one way or the other.
Your protagonist might have a big, important choice to make here. Do they get married or leave someone at the alter? Do they make the kill or go with mercy? Do they risk everything or play it safe?
If you are truly writing a tragic story, rather than a dark moment, the main climax of your story will be a soaring win for your hero. You’ll have to lift them up high here, so that when they fall, they fall hard.
Get out your notebook and label the next page “The Resurrection.” Answer these questions.
- What negative traits has your MC picked up? This is a good way to gauge their change.
- Which flaws will your MC retain through to the end of the story?
- Describe the main climax or final ordeal of your story. How does your MC face death one more time? How are they ressurected?
- Is there a physical showdown between your MC and the antagonist?
- How has your MC changed?
Tomorrow we’re going to finish up with The Writer’s Journey! Can you believe it? We’ll be talking about your hero’s return with the elixir.
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