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The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for…

The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers (edition 1998)

by Christopher Vogler

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1,314288,653 (4.12)13
Title:The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
Authors:Christopher Vogler
Info:Michael Wiese Productions (1998), Edition: 2nd ed., Paperback, 360 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Non Fiction, Writing

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


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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 |
What makes a story. ( )
  torreyhouse | Jul 1, 2017 |
It took me awhile to get through this book. I put it down several times. Normally that would be a pretty good sign that I didn’t like the book. Not in this case.

When I first decided that I wanted to be a writer it didn’t take long before I stumbled upon the idea of the ‘Monomyth’ or ‘The Hero’s Journey’ popularized by the work of Joseph Campbell and it wasn’t much longer before I bought his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. That book is dense, and meandering, and not meant to help you be a better writer. It is a text book about comparative mythology, essentially, chock full of examples and excerpts from the history of storytelling to help prove his points, but completely lacking in any actual advice on applying those concepts to your own stories. I didn’t get very far into it before boredom made me put it down.

The Writer’s Journey takes Campbell’s theories and makes them more accessible in several ways. First of all, Vogler often uses popular movies as examples to get you to understand the various concepts of the monomyth. Examples from works that most people are familiar with is important in helping you understand these concepts, in my opinion, and that’s something that was extremely lacking in Campbell’s book. Second of all, Vogler has come up with many of his own terms for the various stages of the journey that, to me at least, make a lot more inherent sense than Campbell’s terminology does. Third of all, and most important, he tells you exactly how these concepts apply to writing a cohesive story. He lays out when to use them, when not to use them, and how to think about them as relates to your own work.

However, even though this book is far more accessible and practical than Campbell’s, it’s still dense, and not exactly a page-turner. That’s the only excuse I have for taking so long to finish it, because it really is a great book. I also took notes while I read, so that didn't help. If someone asked me for recommendations on books about writing though, this would definitely be in my top three picks. I found it to be an invaluable resource for understanding story structure, and for diagnosing broken plots.
( )
  ForeverMasterless | Apr 23, 2017 |
This is on hold. I hope to get back to it soon, but too many others have nudged it out now that school is about to start up again.
  memlhd | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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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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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0941188701, Paperback)

At the beginning of The Writer's Journey, Christopher Vogler asserts that "all stories consist of a few common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams, and movies." Some may be hard-pressed to accept this idea (and will wonder how storytellers from Homer to Shakespeare to Robert Altman might respond to the proposition). Others may imagine that since Vogler uses movies like the Star Wars trilogy and The Lion King to defend his mythological philosophy, he is, unwittingly, listing the reasons why Hollywood films of the last 20 years have been so unimaginative. But there's no doubt that Vogler's notion, based on psychological writings by Carl Jung and the mythmaking philosophy of Joseph Campbell, has been profoundly influential. Many screenwriters have used Vogler's volume to understand why certain scenarios sell, and to discover a blueprint for creating mythic stories of their own.

Now in its second edition, The Writer's Journey sets forth archetypes common in what Vogler calls "the hero's journey," the mythic structure that he claims all stories follow. In the book's first section, he lists the different kinds of typological characters who appear in stories. In the second, he discusses the stages of the journey through which the hero generally passes. The final, supplementary portion of the book explains in detail how films like Titanic and The Full Monty follow the patterns he has outlined. --Raphael Shargel

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:32 -0400)

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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.… (more)

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