Story Structure #23: Act III, Stage 10: The Road Back

And now it’s time to return to the Ordinary World, and leave the magic of the Special World behind. The lessons have been learned, the growth attained, the boon recovered. But we are not done yet, and neither is our Hero.

The Road Back

  • A few heroes stay in the Special World, but most head back
  • Story’s energy is revved up again (push back up to light)
  • Return to Ordinary World and implement lessons learned in Special World
  • Hero may fear that wisdom and magic of Ordeal could evaporate in the harsh light of the common day – Fear, skeptics,
    • Hero shares anyway
  • Hero is rededicated to adventure
  • Threshold from Act II to Act III
    • May change aim of story
    • Motivation can be inner or outer
  • Finish the enemy – or they may rise up again, angrier than ever
    • May be a chase scene
      • Pursuit by an admirer can be an interesting twist
      • Pursuit of escaped villain
    • Possible catastrophic reversal of Hero’s good fortune – reality
    • Could be Delayed Crisis spoken of earlier
    • Road back could be a brief moment or an elaborate sequence

What is important is that our Hero is not out of the woods quite yet. Nothing comes easy, and even when he thinks he is all finished conquering the world, he’s still got to be on point and ready. There will be resistance!


A printable version, for your reference, can be found here: Stage 10: The Road Back

To view a chronological listing of the posts in this series, continue below:

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