Okay, Mod 1 (that's me) dropped the ball in terms of planning, so this week's optional topic is a little late. We all write last-minute though, so that's hardly a problem!
I, like many of you, have been lucky enough to see JJ Abrams' take on the Star Trek franchise. (For the unlucky, don't worry, I'm not mentioning any spoilers on the blog. However, the NEXT LINK I am providing DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS, so don't click it if you don't want me to ruin Star Trek for you.) Eric Burns recently posted a wonderful essay detailing the manner in which Star Trek successfully constitutes the classic storytelling structure of the Hero's Journey. His essay, which SPOILS THE ENTIRE MOVIE, is over at his blog, Websnark. Don't click if you don't want the magic ruined.
That was just my intro. Reading Burns' essay got me thinking about the monomyth (its common implementation in storytelling, ESPECIALLY in movies). Structurally, it's true that while billions of stories have been told and made, the vast majority of these will tend to follow traditional storytelling patterns, structurally or thematically or all of the above. Even so, that doesn't make the stories any less enjoyable, as long as they vary enough in the details to keep the audience from losing interest.
I know I'm writing a lot right here, and we're all short on time, but try your best: this week, post a piece that includes a Hero's Journey (I will link you to the basic structure). It doesn't have to be long and drawn out--a condensed Hero's Journey might be an entertaining read. Portions of the monomyth structure are also allowed, if you want to write something longer but lack the time/energy for a full-on HJ. (No gutterminds.) Just be sure to let us know which arc-areas your piece covers.
Here is your structure, Thank you Wikipedia.
Good luck, kids. Live long and prosper!