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The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers (edition 2007)
by Christopher Vogler (Author), Michele Montez (Illustrator)
The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers and Screenwriters by Christopher Vogler
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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.
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.
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.
What makes a story.
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This edition of the well-known text on the connection between mythology and storytelling contains a revised chapter on the Star Wars series, new illustrations and diagrams, and new chapters (presented in the appendices) on life force operating in stories, the mechanism of polarity in storytelling, the wisdom of the body, catharsis, and other concepts. The book is meant for all types of writers and outlines guidelines for plot and character development, focusing on character archetypes and the stages of a "hero's journey," drawn from Jungian psychology and the mythic studies of Joseph Campbell. Vogler uses movies to give examples throughout. He is a story consultant for Hollywood film companies and teaches filmmakers and writers around the world.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)808.23Literature By Topic Rhetoric and anthologies Rhetoric of drama Scriptwriting for film
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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. ( )