Week Thirty-Four: The Writer’s Journey

August 28, 2012 § 3 Comments

August 26th

Following the advice of a couple of my fellow LERA writers, I am taking a break from the novel rewrites. Over the next couple of weeks or so, I’m reading other books in my genre and doing some craft homework.

I finally cracked the spine on Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey that I bought back in February at the Southwest Writers Script and Screen Conference.

Reading this book is like coming home. Years ago I read an article about the hero’s journey plot model in The Children’s Writer. I still have the newsletter and keep it handy whenever I am struggling working on plot. It was from this article that I first heard of using the mythic structure for writing and Christopher Vogler’s book.

Vogler has worked as a story consultant for Disney and 20th Century Fox. His book is a breakdown of Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, told in contemporary terms with examples from modern movies such as Star Wars, Romancing the Stone, and An Officer and a Gentleman.

Cover of "An Officer and a Gentleman (Spe...

Cover via Amazon

His illustrations of the different archetypes are fascinating. Bogart is the anti-hero in Casablanca, “M” and “Q” are the multiple mentors in the James Bond series, and Kathleen Turner is the shapeshifter in Body Heat.

I absolutely hate plotting, and the hero’s journey is the only plot structure that holds my interest and that I can work with until the bitter end. I am really enjoying delving into this book. The only question is whether I can handle the separation anxiety from my laborious rewrites for the next few weeks.

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