Story Structure #12: Introducing The Writer’s Journey

OK, I’m a bit behind schedule. Summer and all that. Let’s get through the Hero’s Journey a little faster.  I’d like to finish it up before my next writers’ group meeting, so it looks like roller-coaster ride ahead. Buckle up!

First off, did you do your homework?

You’re not allowed to read on until you do it, so you might as well.

Here is is again, to make it easy for you:

  1. Re-read the first post in this series. Really. Now that we’ve come through the SE model, and before we move on, you should re-read it.
  2. Re-read the second post in this series. Same reason. Really. I’m not kidding.

Now have you done it?

Excellent.

Moving on…

So in the beginning of this whole thing I stated that Christopher Vogler presented a much more palatable story framework to the right side of my brain. It is true. It’s more creatively agreeable. It jives better with my utopian writer self and my romantic ideas of what writing is. And it resonates as something so much more than just a story structure model. Vogler said it best himself, so I won’t even attempt to introduce the Hero’s Journey on my own:

The Hero’s Journey is not an invention, but an observation. It is a recognition of a beautiful design, a set of principles that govern the conduct of life and the world of storytelling the way physics and chemistry govern the physical world. It’s difficult to avoid the sensation that the Hero’s Journey exists somewhere, somehow, as an eternal reality, a Platonic ideal form, a divine model. From this model, infinite and highly varied copies can be produced, each resonating with the essential spirit of the form.

The Hero’s Journey is a pattern that seems to extend in many dimensions, describing more than one reality. It accurately describes, among other things, the process of making a journey, the necessary working parts of a story, the joys and despairs of being a writer, and the passage of a soul through life.

A book that explores such a pattern naturally partakes of this multi-dimensional quality. The Writer’s Journey was intended as a practical guidebook for writers, but can also be read as a guide to the life lessons that have been carefully built into the stories of all times.

~ Christopher Vogler, from the Second Edition Preface, The Writer’s Journey, Third Edition

How’s that for a teaser? Next up, we’ll dive headlong into The Writer’s Journey and see what all the hubbub is about.


To view a chronological listing of the posts in this series, continue below:

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