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The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers and Screenwriters

by Christopher Vogler

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1,668318,818 (4.07)14
Provides new insights and observations from Vogler's pioneering work in mythic structure for writers.

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I began reading The Writer's Journey in April 2019, then put it aside for a few years when I became busy with several short story projects, a new novel, and a few harrowing life changes. When I picked up The Writer's Journey again in late May 2021, I started from page one again and found Vogler's interpretation and application of Joseph Campbell's analysis of mythology useful. I approached it in much the same way I approach outlining my novels and short stories. It is a roadmap, not a strict rule book and even Vogler admits this. When developing any story, there are many avenues a writer can take and crafting the story is an organic process. Often while writing, I will have an epiphany that takes the story in an even better direction than what I had originally outlined.

Vogler's guide is no different. I know other reviewers accuse Vogler of diluting or cheapening Campbell's work. I've heard other writers at conventions and conferences deride The Hero's Journey as an obsolete model that no longer has a place in modern storytelling. To each their own. I enjoyed The Writer's Journey and found Vogler's voice and style easy to follow. Even after three novels and over 20 short stories in my young writing career, I never stop learning and will keep this book close at hand as I work through the latest revision of my next novel. ( )
  pgiunta | Jan 28, 2022 |
The theory of story telling described in this book is fascinating and useful. However, take it with a pinch of salt. The author wants to make it about not just the story, but life itself, which is cringing to read, and I can also recommend skipping the parts about Jung. All in all a quite good book for the aspiring writer. ( )
  troelsk | May 8, 2020 |
In this book I described the set of concepts known as “The Hero’s Journey,” drawn from the depth psychology of Carl G. Jung and the mythic studies of Joseph Campbell. I tried to relate those ideas to contemporary storytelling…

It’s a guide to the archetypes who populate life (and storytelling) and the stages of heroic journeys people take. Vogler analyzes the archetypes and stages and applies them to numerous well-known films. It’s exactly the kind of “writing book” to read parallel with a current writing project -- it validates many aspects and inspires new ideas. To delve deeper and reinforce, I want to watch the “Power of Myth” videos with Campbell and Bill Moyers. ( )
  DetailMuse | Oct 15, 2019 |
The first part of this book was interesting, and I can see how it would be an important guide in a lot of novels. When I did an exercise applying this formula to one of my own stories, I was able to see how the ideas applied, but found that the order didn't work for my story. I don't think adherence to formulas is good for fiction. That's how you get all those books and movies that seem to be the same story with mildly different characters. But, this theory can help you give a lot of depth to your story.

As a long time gamer and fantasy reader, I was familiar with the ideas in the second part of the book and ended up skimming them. ( )
  Lndlindsey | Mar 9, 2018 |
What makes a story. ( )
  Mark-Bailey | Jul 1, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher Voglerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kuhnke, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The waves are still rolling in from the pebbles in the pond that were the original Writer's Journey and its second edition. Since almost a decade has gone by since the second edition was launched, the ideas in that volume have been strenuously tested in a number of story-making laboratories around the world.
In the long run, one of the most influential books of the 20th century may turn out to be Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before. -- Willa Cather, in O Pioneers!
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Provides new insights and observations from Vogler's pioneering work in mythic structure for writers.

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