Monday, November 05, 2007

The Writer's Journey - Review

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler (2nd Edition)
(A new edition is available this month)

Back Book Blurb:

Writers are storytellers. The best of them have utilized the principles of myth to create masterful stories that are dramatic, entertaining, and psychologically true.

Based on the work of Joseph Campbell, this new and revised edition of The Writer’s Journey provides an insider’s look at how writers (both fiction and non-fiction) can utilize mythic structure to create powerful narrative.

Writers will discover step-by-step guidelines for structuring plots and creating realistic characters. Innovative exercises help writers troubleshoot and improve their own work. These ideas—which have been tested and refined by professional screenwriters, playwrights and novelists—will empower the writer’s command of storytelling with the ancient wisdom of myth.

My Review:

Mr. Vogler bases his reference book on the mythic studies of Joseph Campbell and the archetypes of psychologist Carl Jung and it is used extensively by screen-writers. But it’s a wonderful resource for any story-teller in creating dynamic, true-to-life characters. “All stories consist of a few common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams, and movies. They are known collectively as ‘The Hero’s Journey.’” In fact, this book is a great resource for psychologists or anyone who wants to learn about the life’s journey of man or woman. But as a fiction writer’s reference book, it is invaluable if you want your characters and your writing to stand out from the cookie-cutter norm.

The Writer’s Journey provides an in-depth look at the twelve stages of the hero’s journey. He uses well-known movies as examples to show the stages in practice. And he describes the most common and useful character archetypes.

The Stages of the Hero’s Journey:

1. Ordinary World
2. Call to Adventure.
3. Refusal of the Call.
4. Meeting with the Mentor.
5. Cross the First Threshold.
6. Tests, Allies, Enemies.
7. Approach to the Inmost Cave.
8. Ordeal.
9. Reward (Seizing the Sword).
10. The Road Back.
11. Resurrection.
12. Return with the Elixir.