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I began reading The Writer's Journey several few years ago when I was taking video and multimedia course work during a transition in my photography and video career in 2009. I started from page one again in mid-2023 to begin the process of writing a project with Joseph Campbell's analysis as a framework. As someone who writes news articles and press releases for work, I am always a student for writing so this book has been helpful on many occasions.

I've heard other writers at discuss "The Hero's Journey:" as both a starting point and as an outdated model in modern storytelling but one can find many elements in nearly every film found in Campbell's work. I found the detail and approach in The Writer's Journey helpful on many layers and levels.½
 
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John_Hughel | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Dec 28, 2023 |
This book fully explains in detail the different parts of Joseph Campbell's monomyth structure. However, it can be a bit tedious if you're familiar with Campbell, and the appendices are over-written centered around singular ideas that do not need the embellishment that they're treated with. I also felt that there may be a strong new-age thread running through the whole especially where the author uses The Golden Bough by James George Frazer as a reference but fortunately, it doesn't move from the juxtaposition of comparative mythology to writing into the realm of hokum. There are a lot of good ideas scattered throughout this book. I would recommend this book if you are at all interested in exploring Campbell's monomyth.
 
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Ranjr | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Jul 13, 2023 |
I began reading The Writer's Journey in April 2019, then put it aside for a few years when I became busy with several short story projects, a new novel, and a few harrowing life changes. When I picked up The Writer's Journey again in late May 2021, I started from page one again and found Vogler's interpretation and application of Joseph Campbell's analysis of mythology useful. I approached it in much the same way I approach outlining my novels and short stories. It is a roadmap, not a strict rule book and even Vogler admits this. When developing any story, there are many avenues a writer can take and crafting the story is an organic process. Often while writing, I will have an epiphany that takes the story in an even better direction than what I had originally outlined.

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.
 
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pgiunta | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Jan 28, 2022 |
I'm sure a million other people mentioned that this is a streamlined and summarized version of Campbell's Hero of a Thousand Faces, but I read it anyway because maybe that was exactly what I needed. A simple reminder of a simple tool. Not bad, not great, but at least it was informative to the point of jogging my memory.
 
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bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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.
 
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troelsk | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | May 8, 2020 |
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.
 
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DetailMuse | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Oct 15, 2019 |
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.
 
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Lndlindsey | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Mar 9, 2018 |
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.
 
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ForeverMasterless | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | 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.
 
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memlhd | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Jan 23, 2016 |
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.
 
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memlhd | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Jan 23, 2016 |
This book is actually for writing screenplays but applies so well for creating any story, and for life itself, really. I believe there is a well of truth in its pages. Like a treasure. I can't say enough. Honestly, I feel like I was looking through a pile of rocks and I found a diamond.
 
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KR_Patterson | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Apr 28, 2015 |
A good breakdown of the writer's journey in excruciating detail using films for examples. I would of rather seen novels used as an example but this book definitely helped me rethink characters in my own books and how the characters fit into the story and how the story progresses. The questions at the end of each chapter are fun writing prompts to flesh out your story that I enjoyed doing, except the ones about film.
Definitely read the appendices after finishing the main part of the book, you can skim the breakdown of the different films if you'd like, but the Star Wars section is definitely worth reading just for breaking down what the problems with the prequels were. Good read.
 
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FourOfFiveWits | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Feb 23, 2015 |
This is a rather trite, breezy, casual guide to turning Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" (and, for some reason, a first-century-AD Roman comic poet) into good-enough stories. It's a work in the same genre as /Save the Cat!/, in other words -- although I get the strong impression that it produces much better results than /Save the Cat!/ does.

Still, if you bridle at the thought of all stories being cut from a single template (and they're not cut from a single template; any story where the hero's the protagonist, like many of Shakespeare's plays, can't be usefully analyzed by the Hero's Journey; nor any story with a reasonably active antagonist), or if you don't find the Hero's Journey template particularly appealing, this is probably not a book that you're going to get much use out of.

(The same goes if you insist on viewing the Third World as actually part of the world, as opposed to a magical kingdom inhabited by fairies. I did not enjoy reading the phrase, "the Special World of Columbia." That line of thought encourages exoticizing of foreign societies, and placing of them under glass; it also encourages destruction and massacre when fighting among them, because they're fairies who will magically rebuild everything you wreck, not human beings who live and die just like you do, and who will be impoverished if you ruin their country with artillery...)
 
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ex_ottoyuhr | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | May 7, 2014 |
I've read many books about writing, but none like this. This book was a turning point. It deepened my approach to the writing process through a place I loved and understood. It gave me a new, powerful lens to see through.
 
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ftmckinstry | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Apr 22, 2014 |
Uma introdução simplista de como a estrutura mítica pode ser incorporada aos roteiros de cinema. Nem chega aos pés do livro Story.
 
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georgeslacombe | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Feb 24, 2014 |
Natuurlijk uitgebreid over de Heldenreis, maar er staat zoveel meer in dit boek dat de moeite waard is! Over het belang van een thema als eenheidsschepper, over personages die iets moeten willen hebben, en de tegenwerkende acties van de andere personages, over hoe locatie, milieu, tijdperk, politieke stellingname, economische omstan-digheden allemaal inspiratie bieden én duidelijkheid, kortom heel veel om weer eens bij stil te staan.
 
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Heldinne | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Aug 29, 2013 |
This book was extremely helpful. It's one that I'll refer back to when I feel like my plot isn't gelling
 
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brbpowell | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Aug 24, 2013 |
Fantastic update of Joseph Campbell's ideas applied to screenwriting. The principles work for any story, though.
 
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BK138 | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Feb 13, 2013 |
Perhaps better for screenwriters than novelists, there is still much to admire in this work, especially since I'm an admirer of Joseph Campbell's work, to which Vogler acknowledges a huge debt. It's thought-provoking, especially in terms of plot. As I say, perhaps not wonderful for the prose writer, since almost all examples are taken from film. I love the exploration of archetypes -- a great leaping off place for any writer.
 
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Laurenbdavis | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Nov 26, 2011 |
One of the books they made us read in film school way back when was Christopher Vogler's book THE WRITER'S JOURNEY: MYTHIC STRUCTURE FOR WRITERS. Vogler has come out with a third edition, so I thought I'd take a read.Vogler is coming at story structure out of the Joseph Campbell HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES tradition. Campbell theorized that hero stories have a similar structure across all human cultures, and that there are archetypes that we always see in them: the refusal of the call, the mentor, the inmost cave, etc. Vogler attempts to relate Campbell's character archetypes to successful movies. Who is the Shadow? Who is the Shapeshifter? Who is the Mentor? He also outlines a basic structure for the story:1. Ordinary World2. Call to Adventure3. Refusal of the Call4. Meeting with the Mentor5. Crossing the First Threshold6. Tests, Allies, Enemies7. Approach to the Inmost Cave8. Ordeal9. Reward10. The Road Back11. Resurrection12. Return with the ElixirWhen you try to apply this formula to some movies, it works quite well, e.g. STAR WARS. Bear in mind, though, these often seem to be movies written by writers who are consciously trying to apply Joseph Campbell to screenwriting, as George Lucas was. Back in film school, I tried a bunch of times to relate these steps to stories I was trying to tell, and I had trouble telling what step I was supposed to be on. Lisa pointed out that many of the steps applied to the series I'm working on (Natural World, Refusal of the Call) but later on it gets difficult to say which part is "The Road Back" and which is "Return with the Elixir". When Vogler tries to fit stories that aren't intended to be epic hero tales into his formula, the results aren't so neat. It can feel like he's shoehorning the facts into the theory, as when he looks at PULP FICTION. No "Shapeshifter" character? Claim that Vincent Vega and Mia's dance moves "reflect the SHAPESHIFTER archetype, as they try out various masks and identies in the APPROACH to love" (p. 275). Uh huh. I'm not a big fan of formula, myself. I'm agnostic about Blake Snyder's formula (see my earlier post on SAVE THE CAT!) because I can see how it might work. My problem with Vogler is that while it is an interesting way to look at movies, and to understand what they're doing for the audience, I don't see how it helps me write one. It looks like a way to analyze what is going on in a movie, rather than a way to write a movie.I should note that Christopher Vogler is not a professional writer, but a professional story analyst (if I understand his resume right). He shares credit on one German movie. Mostly, my impression is, he works with writers that the studio feels could use someone with a deeper understanding of story structure. In that case I would imagine that his approach, actually applied by him, might work.But if you want a mythic perspective on screenwriting -- and how it fits into the grand epic tradition of storytelling -- then you might well check out THE WRITER'S JOURNEY.
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AlexEpstein | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Jun 27, 2011 |
Christopher Vogler readily acknowledges his debt to Joseph Campbell, whose 1949 seminal work on comparative mythology 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces' is the source of the Hero's Journey that Vogler uses as his template for an effective screenplay. Vogler's more contemporary style is perhaps more accessible for the modern reader, and his many examples from well-known movies ('Shane', 'Star Wars', 'Titanic') really help to demonstrate the practical application of the formula that he explains in rich detail here.

Make no mistake, it is a formula, and some readers have criticised Vogler (himself a Hollywood screenwriter and story consultant) for peddling a formulaic approach to the creative act. In fairness, he warns several times in the book about slavish adherence to the recipe, and is clear that no writer should simply spread out the journey map and start plotting the route accordingly. Like any writer's tool, this book is a valuable travelling companion, not a pilot. Vogler provides a good example in his analysis of Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction' of a great script that contains all the essentials of a Hero's Journey presented entirely unconventionally with freshness and verve.

Novelists as well as scriptwriters should find this a useful and interesting guide. Don't let it be the only book you rely on (Robert McKee's 'Story' is another rewarding read) but be sure to take it with you if you are embarking on your own writer's journey.

David Williams www.writerinthenorth.blogspot.com
 
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Davidgnp | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Feb 8, 2011 |
I learned a new way of looking at stories and movies from this book. They say it is one of the fundamental texts for hollywood script writers and I believe the archetypes and journey stages are strong models to refer to for the fiction writer. One might best explain this book in applying one of its models - the journey stages - to a film many of us are familiar with. I tried it with Forrest Gump:1) Ordinary World: Begins life as a cripple, with odds stacked against him 2) His quest becomes Jenny, an early friend who treats him normally and represents normal life. She speaks the Call to Adventure: Run Forrest, run! 3) Reluctant Hero: Forest still gets beat up, still called stupid by most 4) Mentor = Momma, who believes in him and tells him he can do anything/ “Stupid is as stupid does.” 5) Crossing the First Threshold: Becoming a football hero (through running & confusion) 6) Tests: Nearly getting killed in war, Jenny rejecting him in a coffee house, fights with Jenny’s boyfriend (they represent hippie counterculture when he is a Viet Nam military hero they protest), Jenny almost killing herself and taking his goal of gaining her as his true love from him. 7) Inmost cave: Forrest faces his first real failure in a long time as a shrimper, but Lt. Dan faces his fears of failure too and they both ride out a storm that ultimately is the saving grace for their shrimp boat business. Also, Lt. Dan invests their money making them financially secure for life. 8) Ordeal: Momma dies 9) Reward: Jenny comes back only to leave him the day after she has sex with him to prove she loves him. 10) Road Back: Forrest starts running again. People see him as a wise man and follow his lead. 11) Ressurection: Jenny contacts him, they come together, he learns he has a son! Who’s smart! 12) Return With The Elixir: The family goes back to Alabama. Jenny dies, but little Forrest is an important legacy of big Forrest’s original quest.½
 
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JeaniaK | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Aug 9, 2010 |
Christopher Vogler's book The Writer's Journey: Mythic Sttucture for Storytellers and Screenwrites is a classic book explaining how to write a novel. Furthermore, it is an enjoyable read and a fantastic reference book for every aspiring novelist. To learn how to write a novel, you need to understand two main elements, character and plot.

Full Review: http://hubpages.com/_magicme/hub/The-Writers-Journey-A-book-review
 
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gramarye1 | Hi ha 32 ressenyes més | Jun 27, 2010 |