Kal Bishop's 188 stage Hero's Journey (Monomyth) is the template upon which the vast majority of successful stories and Hollywood blockbusters are based upon. In fact, ALL of the hundreds of Hollywood movies we have deconstructed (see URL below) are based on this 188+ stage template. Understanding this template is a priority for story or screenwriters. This is the template you must master if you are to succeed in the craft.
[The terminology is most often metaphoric and applies to all successful stories and screenplays, from The Godfather (1972) to Brokeback Mountain (2006) to Annie Hall (1977) to Lord of the Rings (2003) to Drugstore Cowboy (1989) to Thelma and Louise (1991) to Apocaplyse Now (1979)].
THERE IS ONLY ONE STORY
There is a theory that there are a finite number of Plots (Tragedy, Rags to Riches, Rebirth. Man vs Machine, Man vs Environment etc). If you deconstruct these, you will find that they all reduce to the Hero's Journey, which is the Master Plot.
Further, if you reduce these, you will see degrees of Detachment and Attachment, New Self and Transformation.
The point being that, most plots are variant situations of the same base (and it is the base that you must first master).
(For the Complete 188+ stage Hero's Journey simply go to http://www.heros-journey.info/ )
ABRIDGED TIPS, EXCERPTS AND EXAMPLES:
It is common for a rest break to occur (past the stage of the Road of Trials). In The Godfather (1972), Michael gets to walk around Sicily.
This is a time to bond with Allies. In Alien (1979), right before the Alien explodes from Kane's stomach, time is spent getting to know the characters. In Romancing the Stone (1984), Joan gets to know Jack in the downed aircraft.
The Hero and allies reference their Old Selves and Back Story. In An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), Zach talks about his days in the PI. In Romancing the Stone (1984), Jack didn't know the Doobey Brothers had split up; he was into short cuts.
*****Romantic Challenge Polarized*****
The Romantic Challenge is just that - a challenge that has to be resolved. As such, the Hero and Romantic Challenge are, at first meeting, highly polarized. In Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Marion argues with Indy outside her bar. In The Deer Hunter (1978), Michael is a world away from Linda. In The English Patient (1996), Laszlo and Katharine have the problem of her husband.