There is an evil overshadowing the land. Who will push back the tide of anarchy and free us? We need a hero! One of the oldest known stories, The Epic of Gilgamesh, is set in this style. Some James Bond movies borrow this theme as do countless video games and one of my favorite movies, Jaws.

Here is the way this plot plays out.

Anticipation Stage and Call

The fearsome monster makes his presence known, either from a great distance or from closer. The monster is elusive, shapeless, and nightmarish. The creature can be a humanoid, an animal, or a combination of the two. If it’s a type of human, it will have some deformity or abnormality that shows it as not quite human. If an animal, it will have qualities that make it partly human.

The monster may take on any of three roles:

Predator:

Protector:

Avenger:

All three are found in the pattern story “Jack And The Beanstalk”: First it’s “Fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman,” then it’s the sleeping giant guarding his treasures, and finally it’s the angry giant pursuing Jack across the clouds and down the beanstalk.

Who’s going to stop the monster? The hero will after he or she receives the call to Adventure.

Dream Stage

This is the part where the hero prepares for battle.

Frustration Stage

The monster arrives and shows his power. Can the hero beat the monster?

Nightmare Stage

Time for a climactic battle. The hero may be outmatched, but will have to defeat the monster for the good of all.

Escape from Death and Death of the Monster

Finally, the monster’s power is broken, and it dies. The people are saved and the Hero emerges victorious.

The Hero receives three things:

Treasure

Kingdom

A Princess

And you know the rest. They live happily ever after.