Wondering what you all think of the basic outline for fantasy known as "the hero's journey"? Is it over used? Is it still valid?
There are alternatives to the three act structure - especially in Asia. I’m sure aliens would be able to make their own alternatives assuming they also tell stories.Like 3 Act (which is so fundamental, pretty much everything folks conjure for story structure fits into it) HJ is very flexible, and therefore likely to stay relevant up until humans cease to exist… one can only guess about alien species, heh heh.
It doesn't have to be though. There's a great many very succesful stories and series where the character doesn't change. The two best known examples are James Bond and Dirk Pitt. If we ignore the most recent few James Bond films where they stepped away from this a bit, James Bond doesn't change or grow. He starts off as a bad-ass spy and he ends as a bad-ass spy. No character growth in there at all. We enjoy the story because we like seeing a character be bad-ass and solve insurmountable problems. It's a different kind of story, but it's still an enjoyable story.A story is, ultimately, about a growth or change. A character that doesn't change is inherently boring, because what was the point of everything?
As a side note, I've tried reading Joseph Campbell's Hero with a thousand faces, and it's hard to get through (and actually make sense of what he's writing).
It's a story structure tool. As such, I think it's impossible to overuse it, that would be like saying 3-act structure is overused.