The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition 3rd Edition
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This edition is at least three times the size, and even more overloaded with useful information for fiction writers, and some nonfiction writers. (Biographies and personal stories could benefit from the insights in this book.)
This book pioneered the "hero's journey" as a plotting template, based on Joseph Campbell's study of mythology and archetypes.
However, this edition of the book takes readers (and fellow writers) far beyond the hero's journey concepts. In fact, this book is tremendously useful for all fiction writers, not just those following the "hero's journey" plot structure. (In other words, it will work with the three-act model, Aristotle's incline, and so on.)
For example, there's a wonderful chapter about polarity. It shows you ways to improve your characters and their conflicts. Polarity helps engage your readers, increase tension, and helps with that dreaded mid-book slump where the plot can drag.
In addition, the author has drawn on all kinds of cross-cultural examples of different elements of any story, fiction and nonfiction alike. Those insights are tremendously useful.
Also, this book is so well-organized and broken into headings, you can open the book to almost any page and find something useful for your story. When I read it -- even after all these years -- I discover about three "ah-HA!" ideas on every page.
Though this book may be almost overwhelming for beginning writers, it's a book every writer should own. No matter where you are on your writing journey, there's something to learn -- and benefit from -- even if you only read one page (or part of a page) at a time.
In addition, the both the table of contents and the subject index at the back of the book are thorough and useful, so you can find what you're looking for, quickly.
Every fiction writer (and most nonfiction writers) should own a copy of this book, and browse its pages, regularly. It's that good... and that important, to help you understand your best writing, and bring that to every story.
UNFORTUNATELY, the two books BOTH arrived damaged, bent and ripped covers and pages. Couldn't return as I didn't have time to replace and get them to my sons by Christmas. They are both screenwriters and are working on projects as I write... bummer on that.
Great as a basic guide with clear definitions of the different elements that build up a quest story. Keep in mind that it is definitely structured, so if you are looking for a more open exploration of writing, it might not be exactly what you're expecting. For a true and detailed guide, this book is fabulous!
Top international reviews
It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that you can also use the book as a guide through life. Not in the same way as a self-help book but you can see how the people that you encounter through life, the challenges etc, it's all there.
It makes me want to read Carl Jung's work and I will at some point.
Not a book that you can rush through, if you really want to absorb it and to understand it properly. Definitely a book that you will need to go back to, dipping in and out of. What he talks about, really connects with being a human being and finding yourself on your own journey.
If you're human and a writer of stories, you can't help but get a better understanding of yourself and how and why stories work.
As the title suggests, Vogler borrows a lot from ancient mythology and says every story is a hero's journey through 12 stages from the Ordinary World – through adventures and ordeals in the Special World – to return victorious with the Elixir. Each stage is developed in depth, introducing nine standard character Archetypes – Hero, Mentor, Shapeshifter, Trickster, etc.
I think this is a Must-read for any aspiring novel author, even more valuable than Robert McKee's Story.
I found it via Steven pressfield's website and blog and I'm very glad I made the purchase.
I've already written and published two books but I haven't yet attempted a fiction. This book has really helped me organize my story plan and add depth and shade to both that and my characters. The questions the author poses at the end of each chapter were wonderfully useful for demonstrating the points he makes as well as generating ideas to use in my book.
If you're thinking of writing a book (or screenplay), this is for you. Highly recommended.
Well worth the purchase!