The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers Paperback – Nov 1 2007
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Chris Vogler offers fresh and invigorating perspectives, illustrated with fascinating examples from many excellent movies from such as Wizard of Oz. He worked on the screenplay of The Lion King, and I found its derivation from the plot of Hamlet interesting to say the least.
If you're like me the you may appreciate the Metaphor of the Hero's Journey the most. George Lucas in Star Wars follows the mythical blueprint laid down by Jseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
Vogler offers a succinct inspiring explanation and I could imagine myself in the hero's shoes doing what the hero has to do, what we all have to do. Having read this, the familiar patterns of many great movies suddenly became clearer. Additionally the explantion of the common mythical archetypes merits continued reading. For example the trickster appears in both Star Wars, and The Matrix, and you may recognise Darth Vader as pure shadow.
Many movies start in the Ordinary World, and then there is the call to adventure. Often the hero is reluctant to make a change, so then we have the next stage which is refusal of the call. Eventually we move into the Special world, and in SW and The Matrix our hero joins the rebels and starts to develop special abilities. Another good example of this is Wanted with Angelina Jolie.
He uses over 100 well known movies as examples to illustrate his points, including Titanic. I truly appreciate these insights. Perhaps the most interesting insight for me personally is the idea of polarity or conflict.Read more ›
Ive yet to read the Joseph Campbell books this is inspired by, but felt It's an easy read and I would say it great for any novice like me as an introduction to the craft. I've read plenty of other how to books on writing, since, and always looking for more, but I don't think you can go wrong having this in your library.
I know the Campbell ones are more 'heavy' and acedemic , but will feel more confident picking them up now thanks to this.
The Writer's Journey explores how to avoid stereotypes by allowing characters to engage in ways that are unexpected but not out of character. The plot of the story neatly advances as the reader is further engaged. Various realms are explored such as the Ordinary World, the Special World and the Journey Back.
Different story forms and segments are examined for ways they can fit together in a narrative. Thankfully most facets of fiction can be swapped about as needed for one's current work-in-progress. This book should be kept on your writing desk.
This is not a template for format or plot. Vogler freely acknowledges that few stories can contain all the elements and details he writes about. There's no wrong way to tell a story if it captures the imagination and satisfies the sense of having been 'there and back' with the hero and/or villain.
There are enough references to historical literature, classical tales and modern movies that most writers will be able to appreciate this material. All genre writers should find this book useful. The Writer's Journey is itself engaging as it challenges its readers to compare their own life experience to the material; for what good is a story if it isn't alive?
Most recent customer reviews
Not a great screenwriting book. It helps you appreciate some aspects of plays, but it doesn't explain how to write a great film. Read morePublished 12 months ago by teri paul