The stages in the adventure of a story can be divided into 12 subsections:
- Ordinary World – The common setting of the protagonist and an introduction to the character and world
- The Call to Adventure – A metaphorical or literal message is delivered to the Hero that entices/forced them into the world of the unknown
- Refusal of the Call – The Hero avoids the call to adventure to signify that the road ahead is a dangerous and identifies what the Hero has to lose.
- Meeting with the Mentor – A wise figure who helps the Hero prepare for the road unknown.
- Crossing the First Threshold – The Hero crosses into the Special World full of danger and adventure
- Tests, Allies and Enemies – The Hero faces challenges that will help prepare them for the Ordeal and meets characters who will help shape the protagonist into a better (or worse) person.
- Approach the Inmost Cave – The Hero and the team take time to plan their strategy for facing the ordeal and arm themselves. A love scene may be squeezed in.
- The Ordeal – The greatest challenge and the most fearsome opponent the Hero has to face. The death and rebirth of the Hero will take place.
- Reward – Celebration and seizing the sword of victory.
- The Road Back – The Hero chooses whether to remain in the Special World or begin the journey home to the Ordinary World.
- The Resurrection – A method of demonstrating that their heroes have changed on their travels. The last and most dangerous meeting with death.
- Return with the Elixir – The Hero has survived all the ordeals and returns to their starting place but proceeds with a sense they are commencing a new life.