3rd Edition - The Writers Journey - Mythic Structure for Writers

By Christopher Vogler

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeanne paul
Back when I was beginning a career in motion picture development, a 7 page memo from someone in the story department at Disney started making the rounds, explaining how the elements of Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey could be used in writing scripts. The author of the memo was Chris Vogler and here he's fleshed out the points into a powerful book that ties the power of mythology into interesting and easy-to-understand ways to use that power in telling our stories, using examples from current and past films. Now, not every writer will respond to every book on writing, but I venture to say everyone will find something here to spark an idea or help focus a storyline. And it is a beautiful book with great illustrations -- a plus!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
_The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition_, by Christopher Vogler, is the result of the author spending decades studying what makes stories "work". And it is a very good book.

As he describes in the Introduction (actually, the introduction to the second edition, which he has reprinted in this book), Vogler worked as a story analyst for Hollywood studios and then encountered Joseph Campbell's Joseph Campbell's _The Hero with a Thousand Faces_ while attending USC film school. The work that would ultimately become _The Writer's Journey_ started out over twenty years ago as a seven-page memo titled "A Practical Guide to _The Hero with a Thousand Faces_" and Vogler has been field-testing, revising and updating his theories ever since. While some of his story elements are not quite the same as Campbell's, his way of dissecting stories is based on Campbell's and he refers back to Campbell's story elements often.

In _The Writer's Journey_ 3rd Edition, Vogler presents the various archetypal stages and characters that appear along a hero's journey in almost every story. And the hero in question doesn't have to be a knight going on a quest -- the hero is whoever the protagonist (male or female) is in a story, and their journey can be something as normal as a lonely person trying to find love, or an adult son or daughter learning how to deal with a demanding parent.

The hero can even be a writer trying to craft and publish a good story. As Vogler quietly points out in a number of places, the common themes and settings and characters that occur in almost all stories do so because they are encountered by almost everyone in real life. Just as the hero of any story has a backstory, a mentor in either the past or present whose advice is needed, and an adversary they have to face before they can complete their journey, all those things apply to all of us in real life as well. We all encounter mentors, threshold guardians, friends, messengers, and other elements in our lives, and Vogler's book can be seen also as a guide for readers to start evaluating their own lives and pursuing their own dreams.

The book includes the following sections:
+ Introduction: Third Edition
+ Preface: Second Edition
+ Introduction: Second Edition - Preparing for the Journey
+ Book One: Mapping the Journey
- A Practical Guide
- The Archetypes
- Hero
- Mentor: Wise Old Man or Woman
- Threshold Guardian
- Herald
- Shapeshifter
- Shadow
- Ally
- Trickster
+ Book Two: Stages of the Journey
- Ordinary World
- Call to Adventure
- Refusal of the Call
- Meeting with the Mentor
- Crossing the First Threshold
- Tests, Allies, Enemies
- Approach to the Inmost Cave
- The Ordeal
- Reward
- The Road Back
- The Resurrection
- Return with the Elixir
+ Epilogue: Looking Back on the Journey
+ Appendices
- Stories are Alive
- Polarity
- Catharis
- The Wisdom of the Body
- Trust the Path
+ Filmography
+ Bibliography
+ Index
+ About the Author

Since Vogler's background is in film, he often uses various movies to illustrate elements he is talking about. There are also exercises to identify elements of the journey in popular films and novels and in the reader's own life at the end of each section in Books One & Two, so _The Writer's Journey_ could be used as a textbook for a story-writing class or study group.

Overall, a very fascinating and thought-provoking book. Definitely a five-star read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rooja k d
This book by Christopher Vogler is a map to story telling. Like any map, it can decorate your library--or you can use it as a map. Maps are not something to glance through one time. Maps guide you on your journey. In "Trust the Path" Mr. Vogler relates a real-life event when he was in grave personal danger--he got lost hiking on a well-marked trail in Big Sur. Any outdoorsman will tell you how quickly the weather can change from nice to life threatening.

But this book is rightly titled 'The Writer's Journey.' Vogler explains the map symbols of the story telling process in detail, and then reviews that modern literature, the motion picture, by examining these way-points on more than 100 movies ranging from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to Titanic. Literature in the old days used to refer to speeches and stage plays--only after the movable type printing press and wide-spread literacy were printed books added to the mix. Now movies, the modern stage play, are back again--so the addition of movie analysis is a bonus to any story teller.

But it is not just the story teller who will benefit from reading The Writer's Journey. Myth has more truth than news, history or statistics. Anybody who applies psychology, everybody involved in politics needs to know where concepts of hero and villian originated. Contrast of 'The Ordinary World' and 'The Call to Adventure' are two way-points frequently used when selling others a product or service--or a political agenda. Reading this book gave me greater insight into the recent political campaigns that I was lacking before.
Man and His Symbols :: The Power of Myth :: A Hercule Poirot Collection with Foreword by Charles Todd (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) :: & Gaining Positive ... & Peace of Mind. (Volume 1) :: The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell - Myths to Live By
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christopher hart
Using the work of Joseph Campbell as a basis, author Christopher Vogler has done the world of writers a great service in breaking down the basic structure that is followed by the majority of myths and stories. From The Wizard Of Oz to Star Wars, The Lion King to Titanic, nearly every major motion picture has, to some extent, employed "The Hero's Journey" that Vogler writes about, including certain stages throughout the journey and archetypical characters.

The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers, Third Edition is a fantastic resource, giving all types of writers--novelists, screenwriters, and non-fiction writers--tools to identify areas that are lacking in their drafts. Vogler warns, however, "It's not a cookbook recipe or a mathematical formula to be applied rigidly to every story." Each writer must examine his work and determine whether aspects of the journey should be minimized, rearranged, or omitted altogether.

The writer who adds The Writer's Journey to his arsenal will be better prepared to tackle any new project or old revision he faces.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karen mccarthy
This is not a standard writing book. It is a problem solver and story editor.

Too many people look inside it and find formula. The problem with this is that, used as a formula, it will work exactly once and then all the other stories written to its beats will mirror the previous story and then the creative portion of the mind will rebel at having such fetters place upon it. Using it as formula is a certain road to ruin.

Where this book shines is when a writer has an outline or a partially finished manuscript, and parts of those do not work. Something is missing. Using the ideas presented here allow him to get under the story's hood and fix the broken piece or adjust the fuel mixture. For instance, most writers I have known could get their story out of the Ordinary World (a character's homebase) and then get stuck. There was one of two problems at fault there. In the first, they never took the time to develop the Setting (Extraordinary World) their characters would venture into. In the second, once they got their characters there, they would meander. For that I have found the idea of the "Road of Trials" or "Tests, Allies, & Enemies" a fascinating and satisfying way to get my characters to their Bleak Moments.

I have also found this book useful in analyzing novels and films. I see how others have created their works and where things work or do not work. For instance, the first "Harry Potter" book and "The Eye of the World" both follow a mythic structure and yet are wildly different stories. "American Gods" and "Gardens of the Moon" use very different structures from the first two novels, and yet they are as epic in their own ways; I see within them the ways that writers find divergent voices and story models.

There are those who would use the ideas found here verbatum to write something that they may think is original, but what will likely result is a mess of allegory and empty shells (need I say "Willow"?).

My own way of applying these ideas is to aid my outlining. Either I start with Characters who might hold certain positions (Hero, Herald) for a time, and then write a Journey as an outline. But mainly I create my characters and then write a full outline. Once I have a basic roadmap of where my story is headed I take out the Hero's Journey and see if any of the Roles or Journey Stages will improve them and help them get to where I need them in a more dramatic fashion.

A couple of notes:

1. The Shadow is the most misunderstood thought in this process. The Shadow should be an event, a force, a movement. One could save that the Shadow of "Gone with the Wind" is the Civil War; or of "Inherit the Wind" is ignorance; of life in the USSR as the Communist Party and/or the KGB; of "Star Wars" it is the Empire. Making a person into the Shadow creates a character who is dangerously unsympathetic and likely to derail a story. The Hero's enemy is their Nemesis; ala, in "Casablanca" Bogey's Nemesis is the Nazi officer, while Nazism and the War serve as the story's Shadows. A Nemesis can be made into an interesting character, while the Shadow as a character tends to devolve into pure (boring) Evil.

2. The Herald is there to announce major changes. He does not have to be human. For instance, in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" the newsreel in the movie house served as the pivotal Herald in the story.

3. Like the Herald, the Mentor does not have to be human. In "The Seven Samurai" the code of Bushido acts as Mentor. Similarly in "A Man for all Seasons" Thomas More's conscience is his Mentor. It can be a memory, a code, a religious ideal, a quote, or just about anything else.

4. Setting can be one of the most interesting CHARACTERS in any story. A great Special World can make a story come alive. "Tara", "Oz", Alcatraz, the house in "Rebecca", most of Agatha Christy's locales, "Middle Earth", the Tower of London. Do not ignore these; treat them as characters, with history and personality and you will be richly rewarded.

Last, I must admit that this book changed my life. It made me see in a different way and helped me heal my relationship with my father. It helped me find a path in life, as the mythic is the true element of life and everything else a temporary, chimeric miasma. Also, because of this wonderful guide I have completed every writing project that I have started.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
crystal smelser
Anyone who has ever taken a filmmaking class, or written a screenplay, has probably heard of Joseph Campbell. His books on mythology and the 'hero's journey' have greatly influenced many filmmakers, including George Lucas who based much of the first three "Star Wars" films on "The Hero's Journey".

Christopher Vogler, a former assistant at a studio, read these books and realized anyone reading these books might recognize the famous films and characters influenced by these works, but a great number of people probably wouldn't. And Hollywood isn't known for the intellectuals working there (a writer once changed the name on Frank Capra's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and submitted the screenplay to a number of studios and agents, all of whom declined to option the screenplay).

So he created "The Writer's Journey", a book that provides in depth looks at each of the points of the Hero's Journey and uses specific film examples to illustrate these points. It is an interesting and informative read and really helps to bring the entire thing into focus.

For this third edition, Vogler updates some of the movie references and adds some illustrations. But beyond that, if you have a previous edition, you don't need to buy this new one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
patricia burker
If only every how-to guide or textbook were written as well as The Writer's Journey. This book breaks down key story-writing elements into short, self-contained chapters that reference both mythology as well as film and literature. Vogler uses well-known characters and events from Darth Vader to Dorothy and Toto to examine the driving themes behind great stories. He doesn't waste time over-explaining or over-analyzing, and every chapter furthers your understanding of story-telling.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aidah bakri
If you are a writer, public speaker, educator, story teller or involved in any way with the presentation of information in a manner that will capture the attention and imagination of diverse audiences, The Writer's Journey will prove to be your most valuable tool.

As I read this engaging text, Vogler's ideas began to immediately impact the way I interpret historical data for audiences looking for "infotainment" rather than an academic lecture. As a writer, I could not resist the urge to reexamine ongoing projects that had been stalled for months.

The Writer's Journey is not a quick read, but it is a delicious one to be savored.
If you are a writer, public speaker, educator, story teller or involved in any way with the presentation of information in a manner that will capture the attention and imagination of diverse audiences, The Writer's Journey will prove to be your most valuable tool.

As I read this engaging text, Vogler's ideas began to immediately impact the way I interpret historical data for audiences looking for "infotainment" rather than an academic lecture. As a writer, I could not resist the urge to reexamine ongoing projects that had been stalled for months.

The Writer's Journey is not a quick read, but it is a delicious one to be savored.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kayla millikin
While being interviewed on "Inside the Actor's Studio", Mike Myers in talking about the creative of process (whether it be acting or writing) said that "the intellect should be used as the bridge between the islands of inspiration."
As writers, we all have "muse fits" where an idea literally seems to write itself and then, all of a sudden we run into the metaphorical brick wall. It is at that time, when we are flattened against the wall, that we need a sense of technique, structure and purpose to find a way to continue and allow the idea to reach formation.
The Writer's Journey, while not by any means a end all and be all to the writing process, helps strengthen a writer's intellectual sense to perhaps bridge the islands of inspiration.
Boiling down the works of Jung, Campbell, Propp and many others (Vogler is most careful in citing his sources and inspirations), Christopher Vogler reminds the screenwriter that his/her story must speak to the audience and that there are a variety of forms and functions that achieve this purpose.
Not only does this book lay out several narrative strategies (all centered around "The hero's journey"), but it also successfully deconstructs several successful films, thereby illustrating mythic structure in practice.
It is not a religious tome however, and is not meant to be one. Vogler makes his point very clear, that this book only suggests mythic structure, and that successful stories come out of not simply following a formula, but rather manipulating a form in a new and original manner. All readers of this book must please keep that in mind.The fact that this book has supposedly filled the desks of so many studio exectutives scares me a little- hence the four star rating.
The book is helpful as both a reference source and as a beginning point (one should go on to read first hand all the authors mentioned here) for the aspiring playwright/screenwriter. It may also serve as a needed bridge between seemingly distant islands.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laynibus vandersex
Great stories contain common elements. Christopher Vogler at the beginning of The Writers Journey calls upon the psychological writings by Carl Jung and the myth making philosophy of Joseph Campbell to explain why certain scenarios sell. In doing so, he prepares a blueprint for creating mythic stories.

Now in its Third edition, The Writer's Journey describes the models common in the hero's journey. In the book's first section, Vogler describes different kinds of characters who appear in stories. In the second, he discusses the stages of the journey through which the hero generally passes. The final, supplementary portion of the book explains how films like Titanic and The Full Monty follow these patterns.

Vogler is thought-provoking and insightful. Combine the lessons in this book with those from Rust Hills' Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular and you have the literary foundation for penning saleable stories.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
caroline boussenot
Geared specificaly to the screenwriter (Vogler was a Disney executive) this is an excellent and usable distillation of Campbell's "Hero With 1000 Faces". While less scholastic, as noted elsewhere, "The Writer's Journey" is also far more accesible. I recommend this as an overview before taking the Cambell plunge.
For the screenwriter (and the moviegoer) the keys to the current "accepted formula" for "Screenwriting" are enumerated in detail. This book will not help you discover a marketable idea, but it will allow you to put your idea into a form that the marketplace, i.e., a Hollywood agent or development executive, will take seriously.
While it is unfortunate that anything as boundlessly free as creativity could be defined by a set of rules, the hard truth is that show "business" is endlessly seeking a formula that will reduce the industry to a widgets and accountants dreamland.
Wonder why all Hollywood movies tend to look alike? The answer is in here. Want to write, act or direct in Hollywood? Become intimately familiar with the concepts Vogler presents. The knowledge will unravel many mysteries and open many doors. As long as these concepts work (or rather as long as scripts can be crafted just well enough to plop a famous face on the screen and provide 45 seconds of great trailer & commercial time) this book and its antecedent (Cambell) will be used as a litmus test for "professionalism".
It ain't called "Show Art", kids.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is the third edition of Vogler's book. Inspired by the book "Hero With a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell, which tells how timeless tales and myths follow a basic structure of the hero's journey, Vogler's book teaches people to understand the framework of the hero's journey.

First the book explains the entire Hero Journey concept, the 'characters' in the stories. The general framework for the storyline is laid out.

Using this framework, authors can take their own settings, plots and characters and use the general framework to build their own unique tale.

If you are not a writer but a lover of folklore and myths, you may find this an interesting read as well. Once you know the general Hero concept, it is interesting as a reader to be able to identify the roles.

After reading a book of fiction the other day, I was able to pinpoint where the story fell short and felt that if the writer had followed this concept more closely rather than 'winging it' by using their 'writer's instint', the story would have been better. Another book I read a few weeks ago which was not good at all, (before I read this book), I now see where the problems lie.

This is not a 'plug in' formula, it is not that simple and I'm not saying it should be. But it is a framework that seems timeless since the old myths as well as today's new stories, when they follow this 'outline' (for lack of a better word), do work well.

As well as using this to write fiction books, this method is being used by writers of movie scripts.

I highly recommend this book to writers of fiction as well as any lover of books and stories, to storytellers and to die hard readers who like to really think about what they liked or didn't like about a story they read. The book would actually be interesting and helpful for high school or college students to read as well in courses about literature and writing.

One more thing, if you are a writer or a wanna-be writer you may have spent a lot of money on books on writing already. I really think this one is worth the money and is superior to so many books on writing that I've ever seen.

My complaint with my Advanced Reading Copy edition of this book which I received from the the store Vine is that the font size is the smallest I've ever seen in any book and it was very hard to read. I'd rather have a book that is an inch thicker with more white space and larger font. The reading was slow going for me due to the difficulty with the font size. Maybe I should have bought my first pair of bifocals just to read this book?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mohamed fouad
An intriguing and apparently influential book, now in its third edition.

Vogler's prescription for storywriting uses Joseph Campbell's theories of the universality of myths and legends, which often feature a hero on a quest. Vogler lays out steps in a story similar to Campbell's, and adds to them Carl Jung's archetypes, characters who show up repeatedly in literature such as mentors, tricksters and shapeshifters.

He illustrates with many film examples from "The Wizard of Oz" and "Star Wars" to "Beverly Hills Cop" and "An Officer and a Gentleman". The latter two are located in familiar rather than epic settings. This shows how deeply embedded the hero-quest structure is in what makes a good story. You don't need swords, dragons or wizards to find this formula useful:

The hero is seen in the ordinary world, receives a call to adventure, and refuses it. He gets advice from a mentor and agrees to undertake the quest. He crosses a threshhold into the world of the adventure. He is tested, making enemies and allies along the way. He approaches the inmost cave, which is a scary place, often the enemy's lair or headquarters, but also generally confronting the greatest dangers or one's own fears. The hero undergoes an ordeal, and may die or appear to die so that he may be born again. He escapes with a reward, such as seizing a magic sword, or Dorothy's ruby slippers in "The Wizard of Oz", and then confronts more dark forces on the road back. The hero may have to face death or be resurrected one more time before returning to everyday life, where he still will have an "elixir" - some magic treasure or knowledge that is the legacy of his quest.

This is a godsend for the writer who, say, excels in dialogue or characterization but doesn't have a feel for plot. Vogler notes that one shouldn't follow the formula rigidly or singlemindedly, but should instead use it as a guideline for understanding how a plot moves and why viewers find certain stories gripping or moving.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
The author makes no secret that his work draws heavily on Joseph Campbell, as other reviewers have indicated. Vogler feels that there is a certain type of classic heroic journey which can and should be the model for a story, and that most obstacles, challenges, and secondary characters should fit certain molds (and there are a lot of them, not just a few!). He suggests that writers can use the framework this provides to figure out the best way to plot and write a story. He draws HEAVILY on Hollywood movie plots to illustrate this--I think I missed some points or at least didn't get as much as I could've, simply because I haven't gone to the movies much since about 1990! Readers who are familiar with movies done since then won't have this problem. Vogler suggests that writers who have problems, either in figuring out where to go with a story, or because their story isn't as well-received as they feel it ought to be (imagine that!) may be able to identify problems and come up with solutions using this framework. His apparent success in Hollywood suggests that this does indeed work. Intellectually, I rebel at the idea that there is one stereotyped master plot, but I admit I can't refute his suggestion, and certainly he does provide guidelines. I think that writers (whether bound for fiction writing or for Hollywood scripting) will benefit from reading this. I don't think (contrary to some of the advance publicity) that non-fiction writers will benefit much, and I suspect those who aren't familiar with modern and classic Hollywood films will miss some things as I believe I did.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kelsey sarault
I tend to divide books on writing into two basic categories: "rah-rah" books and constructive books. The former are the ones that are meant to inspire but have no real advice on how to write a good story; the latter - which I prefer immensely - are the ones that actually provide insight on the art of authorship. Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey is one of the constructive books and it is pretty good.

The title is a play on Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, the fundamental story that is shared by all cultures. Essentially, Vogler follows up on Campbell's idea that all myths (and stories in general) are actually variants of the same basic story: a hero goes on a journey. This journey starts in the ordinary world, where the hero gets the call to adventure. He may refuse the call at first, but the need to go on the journey will be too great to deny. He will undergo a series of adventures, culminating in the ultimate ordeal and a climactic battle before returning to the ordinary world with some sort of reward.

Actually, Vogler breaks the journey down into twelve steps. For those familiar with books on writing, this is really just a book on plot, but instead of the usual beginning-middle-end discussion, he follows Campell's outline. To a lesser extent, this is a book on character, although Vogler only discusses the various archetypes, including heroes, mentors, allies and tricksters.

Almost all the story examples that Vogler provides are from movies, especially from well-known movies like Star Wars (which is appropriate since George Lucas has cited Campbell as an influence) and The Wizard of Oz. Since Vogler's work has been with movie studios (particularly Disney), it makes sense he would take a cinematic angle, and The Writer's Journey would work whether you are writing a screenplay or a novel.

Vogler is careful to point out that his book is not a prescriptive one but merely another way to look at the art of storytelling. It is not an automatic formula for success, but if you are writing a story, it may give you some ideas as to where to look for weakness. While there are little flaws here and there in The Writer's Journey (for example, he misstates a couple movie plot points), this is still a solid book. I've read a number of books in this field, and this is one of the better ones.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
carol sheets
For beginning writers, this book could be useful. The 'journey' image is sometimes overused, but this is in part because it responds to a deep need in us. Preachers often use the image of a journey; indeed, many stories in the Bible will use the journey as part of the tale (if not the integral part of the tale). Mythological figures often have their lives and exploits told in journey images -- from times as ancient as those of Gilgamesh, through to modern times, the journey is important as a storytelling device. One can think of Gilgamesh, or Odysseus, or Aeneas in the ancient world; one can think of Moses and Martin Luther King, Jr. in search of the promised land; one can even think of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, seeking the Emerald City, when in fact she's looking for home.

The characters along the way in the journey also represent key elements in our lives -- dangers, strengths, things to love, to hate, to avoid, to embrace. These are archetypes. As others have noted, there are other guides to these (Campbell being perhaps the best known, and perhaps the best writer of these), but Christopher Vogler's use of these mythic structures and the journey process to help beginning writers puts the framework into an interesting and accessible guide.

This is a work with a journey of its own -- as a third edition, there are stories within the making of it. Vogler relates some of these, which include some major motion pictures experiences (one of the primary storytelling vehicles of the twentieth century) in his introduction. This has developed also in part due to critique and questions Vogler has received over time. One of those is that this is formulaic. Films, television shows, songs, poems, stories -- all of these are susceptible to being formulaic, and there is a fine line between following a form and being a slave to the formula.

This guide is practical. For those with experience writing, it can be a bit of a retreat, and, in truth, a bit simple. But for those looking to break into writing and have little experience with how to craft a story, this can be a good guide. While we are surrounded by stories in our lives, many of us don't quite know how to tell them well. Vogler's book gives insight into a process for making meaning and making sense while doing so.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tammy dillardcowart
The basic precept of Vogler's book is that of presenting an overview of the elements and structure of the classical hero's journey, extending it beyond what Campbell has said in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and relating it to the movie industry. My brother, a literature professor at Butler, commented to me that Vogler and Campell make up two of the bigger names in the craft of screen writing, and both are regularly used as texts for classes.

Vogler begins with an overview and then proceeds to delve deeper examining the character archetypes and plot stages. Lest you think that the author is presenting a recipe that locks up the creative spirit by restricting the ingredients, fear not, the author is not advocating a lock step approach to story telling. Indeed he cautions against that very attempt to apply these concepts in that manner. Rather he advocates their use as guidelines of elements that can be applied in any order, or omitted if they do not fit the writer's plotline.

I took my time reading this book, rushing through it would be a crime; it begs to be studied and absorbed one chapter at a time, even taking a break at the end of chapters to try out the concepts and really get a feel for them. I find that it has changed my whole perspective when watching movies; I see the progression of the storyline and character development on a whole new level.

Bottom line, I liked the book and recommend it to any writer or aspiring writer. I would be first in line if my local community college offered a class based upon this book, just for the chance to step up to a chance to discuss the concepts one chapter at a time in a group environment.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
taysia beebout
The Writer's Journey is not only an amazing introduction into the world of fantasy literature, but for me, it was also a gateway into the complex mind of a great writer.

First, I must say I'm not a fan of fantasy literature, but after reading this book, I have come to appreciate all that goes into creating a fantasy world, the rich and varied characters that inhabit those worlds, the complex relationships and roles each character has, and really, how fantasy works of today really draw from great literary works of the past. Even if it's just for brain food or to expand one's knowledge and understanding of the foundations of what great literature truly is, I highly recommend this book. You'll come away a more learned person and appreciate literature far more than you ever thought you could.

Second, this book was truly a fascinating introduction for me into the world of fantasy. Even though it is a book for writers, I felt like my eyes were opened and really gave me a deeper look at all the elements that go into and underneath a story. I love how the author defined and described the characters and roles that exist in any myth and then gives examples from popular culture to illustrate his points (Star Wars, etc.).

It's one of those books that make you feel so much smarter after reading it, and makes you want to re-read works of fantasy from your childhood just to get much more out of them than you ever did before.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
danielle jeremy
The book is aimed at making a science and a craft out of the various aspects of story writing and structure of the story. It is quite useful as an illustrative guide for beginning scriptwriters, for it delves into a range of examples that elucidate the role of "hero", "mentor", "climax", and "crisis" in development of a plot and script. Each stage in development of the story and character is described quite clearly, and in fact gives this text the feel of a laboratory handbook, where every step of a chemical reaction, the procedure and tools are described exactly, with exceptions and warnings outlined clearly. Several examples cited come from very famous and watchable Hollywood movies and the text by Campbell is referenced excessively (so becomes a required reading after you get done with the Writers journey).

Yet I think the author has made a miserable choice of pronouns in the text, for he choses to use "she" as the pronoun for describing "heroes". All the examples in myths and movies are dominated by "he" as heroes, and this in fact makes for a very absurd reading. I suppose the inequality of sexes cannot be overcome by misusing pronouns. If you can look beyond this "grammatical nuisance" the book is simple, straightforward guide to constructing a story. There is only so much that can be taught about the craft, and the real benefit a writer can draw out of this book depends on his or her innate ability and will to toil through the writing process. This book may be considered like a good guide, a good map-book, and of course, only they reach who try!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
liz beltramini
I'd like to get the negative out of the way first. As a fifty-five year old diabetic, I feel particularly blessed that I don't need reading glasses. My copy of THE WRITER'S JOURNEY by Christopher Vogler is in paperback and in very small print. I'm not sure the book is even available in hardback, but if it is, and you don't want to strain yourself trying to read an 8 font, invest a few extra dollars on the hardback.

Certainly, TWJ is based on, or at least inspired by, Joseph Campbell's classic "Hero With 1,000 Faces", which has been the inspiration to countless writers of all genres. There are some notable differences and I believe the differences are actually an improvement.

Not to take anything away from Campbell's classic work, but Hero With 1,000 Faces, to me, always seemed like I was studying a textbook. Don't get me wrong, it is an incredible read and manna for any serious writer. TWJ, however, was more like the title eludes, a journey. That is, an incredible, delicious, spell binding, page turning journey.

The subtitle, MYTHIC STRUCTURE FOR WRITER'S, is a little misleading. Although the book is designed to help mythic writers, that is certainly not an all-inclusive description of the book. There is beneficial content here for any type of writer, and even non-writers who want a better understanding and analysis of watching movies, plays or even listening to storytellers. You'll even glean insight to human relationships and what makes us tick.

Vogler's book is indeed, a journey. One that you will definitely want to take. Enjoy the ride.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jonathan francis
If you're a novice screenwriter looking to get a nominal, very basic sense of three act structure, narrative storylines and character arcs, give this a go - but don't expect more than a cursory examination of a very complicated subject.

As everyone knows, this book is directly derived from Campbell's Hero with 1000 Faces book, to the point where it's essentially a Cliff Notes version. At times, it almost reads like a checklist of what to have in your screenplay, and herein lies the problem. As much as Vogler tries to pursuade the reader that he is advocating form over fomula, the book is too simple to be anything but. Which is probably why everyone who finishes reading this book feels like they're on the verge of writing the next Indiana Jones.

You will absorb this book in about half an hour and feel like you've suddenly unlocked a door into the fundamentals of storytelling. It's a great feeling, until you realize that not every screenplay is as easy to dissect as the requisite Chinatown and Star Wars. While I do believe this form can be found in the majority of successful stories, most of the time, the structural aspects are so novice as to be obscured or difficult to define. Vogel could have made this book a thousand times more valuable simply by including as many examples as possible in chapters on character arcs, inciting incidents, etc. Instead, he takes the easy way out, with only off the cuff references to a few films. Honestly, you can find this stuff for free on the internet.

I started with Vogler's book, and while it provided a Fiction-101 introduction, it felt anorexic in content. Sort of like I cribbed the notes from the smart kid in the class. I had read a lot of people on here saying that Campbell's book is "too broad" and "all-encompassing" to be worthwhile to the screenwriter, and having now read it, I have to say that these people are completely nuts. The form IS complicated; it's not a checklist to go down, and Campbell's book is light years more helpful in illuminating just why that is.

Start with this book, but don't be one of those lazy LA-types who can only stand a "Seven Page Practical Guide" - go to the source and treat your writing like an artist would.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I really got into this book! The myths and archetypes presented here were so helpful to me in my writing process, and they also make a lot of sense in the grand scheme of life. (Since of course, the "hero's journey" applies to each of us as we go through life's trials). I also met Christopher Vogler at the Maui Writer's Conference in 2002, and took a workshop from him. He was very knowledgeable about this subject and about writing in general, and was terribly generous to all of us in the class by answering our many questions. He certainly knows what he is talking about, so I highly recommend this writing book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Christopher Vogler is one of Hollywood's premier story consultants for major film companies like Disney and 20th Century Fox, a respected teacher of filmmakers and writers around the globe, and a popular speaker on screenwriting, movies, and myth. He has influenced the stories of movies from The Lion King to Fight Club to The Thin Red Line to Courage Under Fire. He is president of Storytech, a literary consulting firm to help writers, producers, and studio executives shape their projects. In his book, The Writer's Journey Mythic Structure For Writers 3rd edition (Michael Wiese Productions 2007), he gives you an orientation to life and the art of being human by revealing the core elements that help us learn, grow, and change and process we go through to get there, so your storytelling of the human condition will be resonant with authenticity for your audience.

Every story is a journey for the hero/heroine (protagonist); there are territories they must traverse, stages they have to go through, and various people they'll meet along the way, all with a function and purpose. Chris uses maps, diagrams, and illustrations to highlight the key way stations and archetypes, along with in-depth descriptions to include over 200 hundred films as examples like As Good As It Gets, The Wizard of Oz, Romancing The Stone, Beverly Hills Cop, ET, Titanic, and Driving Miss Daisy.

Some additional bonuses in this 3rd edition include; why writers are like Shamans, how stories have the ability to heal us (both emotionally and physically), how to use your body to evaluate the effectiveness of your story, and the use of polarity to keep your characters and story moving.

Mythic structure in writing is like the blue print for building a home; you begin with the basic foundation, lay-out, and frame work, so it's solid, strong, and supported from the ground up. Then, you design it with your own unique style to give it distinction and fill it with an interesting mix of characters, whose energy helps bring it to life.

The Writer's Journey is a must for all writers who want to create life-changing and memorable stories that stand the test of time and live on in the hearts and minds of your audience.

The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rachel pogson
This book has greatly improved my story telling ability. But then again, it wasn't that great to begin with. I have been interested in Joseph Campbell's work for a long time. However, I found "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" to be too academic. Vogler did all the work of distilling "Hero" down to its essence so I didn't have to.
I found some parts of the book to be redundant and wordy. At times you could tell that this book started out as a pamphlet because he seems to draw things out to fill the pages (something I see in a lot of books lately).
The discussion of different archetypes, or character types has helped me to develop better characters and define their relationships. The discussion of phases of the hero's journey has helped me to better outline my stories. It also helps when I'm trying to figure out why a story line doesn't seem to make sense. It's usually because some important scene is missing.
If you want to write for a broad audience in western culture this book is a good reference to have.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aramazd ghalamkaryan
Many years ago, a friend of mine, another writer, included this book in a short list of "must-have" books for authors. This book ended up being the one I used and continue to use most.

I bought both the first and third editions of "The Writer's Journey" and have used both books many times over the years. They live on the closest shelf to my computer, travel with me as I venture out to various writing spots around town and offer support in multiple ways.

As i begin to write, I refer to the first chapter so I can gather my thoughts. Then, as I continue with my story, I intermittently check back in with the diagrams and tables which offer a perfect quick visual reference as I'm putting together my story structure.

The information offered in this book is timeless and transcends all technological advances, cutting right to the core of storytelling. Every time I read it, and my paperback copy is threadbare, I find a new nugget of knowledge.

To me, I couldn't ask for a better book as I embark on each and every story I write.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laura wilson
From the very start this book really excited me. It made me eager to sink my teeth into my own story-telling project with all kinds of ideas running through my head about how to look at storylines and the characters. I am someone who likes to work with a structure, even if it's only a guideline. That's something I've struggled with in terms of actually getting my story ideas into print. The Writers Journey is going to help me develop a conceptual stucture and framework upon which I can flesh things out into a proper written tale.

That's not to say the book is all about formula, because it's not. Certainly some folks will look at it that way because the author does lay out a story progression framework and defines the character types. He does not, however, say "write it this way". He merely provides thoughts on what plot paths and character elements speak to readers, leaving their specific application to the prospective author to explore.

To me the bottom line is if you're looking for a book to help you be a better story teller, The Writers Journey would be a great investment.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
The 'mythic structure' described by Christopher Volger in this book is one that, I believe, is essential for writers to know if they want to produce an excellent script or novel. Knowledge of how it works, and examples from popular culture, can help a writer to edit a work or lay one out. Creating a work that blindly, artificially follows it as a path to publication is a horrible mistake, and one Volger rightly warns against.

Volger readily admits that his work is derivative from that of Jung and Campbell, and I respect him for it. Respecfully, I reccomend Campbell's "Hero of a Thousand Faces" instead as the work to read if one wants to understand the Campbellian monomyth or apply it to writing.

How a writer uses that structure is up to him or her, and a re-telling of Alice in Wonderland is totally superfluous. If Campbell gets too heavy for a reader, she or he should just skip the structure research and write! This stuff is in the back of our heads already; it's just a little helpful to have it spelled out and have examples given.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mustaque ali
While Joseph Campbell's "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" offers a wonderfully thorough and extensive study of the mythic elements, archetypes, and symbols that recur in the mythologies of cultures throughout the world, Christopher Vogler's "The Writer's Journey" is, in my opinion, a good distillation of Campbell's ideas into a practical guide for those interested in crafting stories.

Bearing this purpose in mind, I believe that Vogler has presented a well-structured theory of story. Proceeding from the perspective that satisfying stories are ones which have the right mix of psychological archetypal elements, he covers the twelve-step hero's journey, and seven useful archetypes in sufficient detail to be of practical value to the writer and storyteller.

Of course, any theory of story can be applied in a formulaic way. Rather than using "The Writer's Journey" as a kind of paint-by-numbers recipe, my recommendation would be to read it and internalize the principles, as you would any book on the craft of writing, then write your stories from the heart, and finally, if a story you've written feels like it needs to be enriched in some way, ask yourself if it is lacking in some archetypal mythic element or other.

I strongly recommend this book to writers and storytellers.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I usually read biographies or non-fiction, so I really shouldn't be surprised that I found this book to be rather mind numbing. I'm also not into writing screenplays (fiction). There was some comparing of mythology and philosophy to "Star Wars" and other storytelling, and plenty discussion about story structure and patterns. But, I really found this to be tedious reading and repetitious. I can't really give it a fair review, as this topic does not interest me, but the book seems to be selling well. I'd recommend it to those who are very analytical about story telling and the basic structures. There are plenty of real-life examples here, if you are a screenwriter, teacher or just a fan of this type of pop culture.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maureen clark
Christopher Vogler has a lot of credibility in the script doctoring world and he knows what he is talking about as he has worked on a lot of major Hollywood films. I love this book because it lays out a simple to understand 12 step structure for designing a story, both for filmscripts and for novels.
Some might say his structure is too simple but we can't all be a Joyce, Hemingway or Dickens so I don't care; it gave me the basics to build on. I would suggest all would-be writers read this first to give you a good structure on which to write your first novel. Then I suggest Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting to understand scenes and character arc and The Story Book: A Writer's Guide to Story Development, Principles, Problem-solving and Marketing to understand subtext and Story Engineering you should be able to make a reasonable start to your novel writing or filmscript writing career.
I am glad I read Vogler before I wrote my first novel Call me Aphrodite. It gave me a structure so that I could concentrate more on the story and the writing side. If I'd had the other books as well I might have written a bestseller...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aarti munjal
Telling a story relies on three levels of contract between writer and reader. One contract you learn on your own, one in school, and one is the subject of "The Writer's Journey".
The fundamental contract when writing English is the meaning of words. I can convey the idea of a tree simply by writing "tree". Because we agree on the general meaning of words, my thoughts can travel through English into your mind.
The second level of contract, which we learn intuitively and study in school, is grammar. Grammar is a loose set of rules that lets me write either "George chopped down the tree" or "George chopped the tree down" with equivalent meaning. I can even bend the rules, and write "Down chopped George the tree". But, if I abandon the rules of grammar entirely and write "Chopped tree down the George", communication falters. Grammar is a higher level of contract than the meaning of words, and oddly is the highest level of contract taught through most schools. "The Writer's Journey" explains the next level of contract, the rules that let a writer communicate a story to a reader.
"The Writer's Journey" details the one primary pattern that makes a list of sentences feel like a story. Once you understand the pattern, you will begin to see it brought to life in story after story. Trying to write without understanding this basic pattern is as difficult as writing without understanding grammar. Like grammar, most readers learn the rules of storytelling intuitively. And, like grammar, the writer must learn these rules consciously to make the best use of them. Christopher Vogler elevates the intuitive understanding of story to a conscious level, and for that this book is indispensable.
How you write your story within the rules is up to you, and is the difference between stories that are merely comprehensible and those that are great. You may even learn to transcend the rules, but understanding the rules of storytelling is fundamental to what makes words into a story. The basic pattern of a story is the starting point for writing fiction, and "The Writer's Journey" is an essential book for any aspiring writer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah grossman
If you don't instinctively understand this book within the first few pages, give up writing. This book speaks to our souls, explains the formula that makes a good story great and timeless. I used this book when teaching my English students story structure, actually showing the pivotal scenes from "Star Wars". The kids got it right away. My idea of an Utopian society would be one in which every student learned this material, and perhaps then would understand the value of goals, failure and facing our fears. Maybe then more teens would realize there are other options besides suicide or using Daddy's gun. For screenwriters I say follow this formula and then tweak the story just enough so those of us in the know can't predict everything that's going to happen next hahaha. Christopher, I would love to do coffee with you sometime!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Deep in our psyches is the need for hearing stories of heros and heroines, good guys and bad, the search for the Holy Grail or the GOlden Fleece. Goes back to the days of the caveman sitting around the campfires listing to the tribal storyteller. Bewoulf, King Arethur, Siegfred; all illuminated by Joseph Campfell in his "Hero with a Thousand Faces." This book will tell you how to make sure these atavistic elements are contained in your stories. It will give you dozens of time-tested procedures, like the Law of the Secret Door--you breathlessly wait for the hero to open the forbidden door, behind which lurks all kinds of trouble. Every movie producer looks for these elements in your screenplay; every New York editor looks for them in your novel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joerg haring
This is a must-have for screenwriters or anyone interested in the work of Joesph Campbell.

Campbell is great, but his writing is very intricate and sometimes hard to decipher. After plodding through much of HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES by Campbell, I found this book a more user-friendly version of his work. I watched "Mythos" as well. WRITER'S JOURNEY was more useful; though, Campbell's lectures are very interesting and insightful.

Vogler sums up and streamlines some very important information. After reading this book you can decode the spiritual messages in movies and stories. It gives you a greater appreciation for cinema. THE WIZARD OF OZ is not just a fantasy, but a journey of self-discovery. Vogler frequently refers to that particular modern fairy tale. He also touches on STAR WARS.

I especially appreciated his notes to Disney on "THE LION KING". Had they followed all of them, the movie would have been much better.

It is great supplement for screenwriters in addition to some mandatory ones like THE SCREENWRITER'S BIBLE and SAVE THE CAT! (Syd Field's SCREENPLAY is rubbish.) Though, I consider WRITER'S JOURNEY mandatory for any storyteller.

One thing we have forgotten in our culture is the real value of stories lie in the spiritual journeys they take us on. Campbell argued heavily that we should never take any story literally, but instead, see the greater spiritual truths they represent. Cinema gives us the opportunity to see both, if only we know how to look. This book will teach you how.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aaron boyd
Throughout his book, Vogler discusses the same topics pedagogically three times; eg tell them what your going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.

IMHO, for the beginning screenwriter, the best way to get the most out of Vogler's excellent book (2nd Ed) is by:

1) Read Vogler's Preface

2) View Bill Moyer's PBS video interview with Joseph Campbell "The Power of Myth (98)," avail at college libraries. Avoid the interview transcript book as it misses all the interleaved visuals during the interview.

3) Read Vogler's Analysis of Wizard of Oz as per pgs below. If questions, then read the relevant chapter and questions and exercises on the last page of each chapter.

4) View snippets of "Wizard of Oz" on YouTube or the DVD usually available at public libraries.

5) Read Vogler's 32pg essay "Analysis of Titanic (97)" in back of book

6) View "Titanic Doc Making of... 22min" on YouTube (bPumvMebxjs)

6) View "Titanic (99)" by James Cameron Dir & Screenwriter of 3-1/4hr film which cost $200M, US Gross $600M, Foreign Gross $1,200M, Total gross $1,800M.


Book Summary is in Preface p. xii-xxiii.
Analyze the films: p. xxiii: Titanic, The Lion King, Pulp Fiction, The Full Monty, Star Wars saga.

Section I Mapping the Journey (only covers Act1)

p5 mentions Bill Moyers interview of Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth" on PBS TV program.
p14-27 The stages of the hero's journey;

Act1 30 pages, Stages 1-5

1) Ordinary world,
2) Call to Adventure,
3) Refusal of the Call (the reluctant hero),
4) Meeting with the Mentor (the wise old man / woman),
5) Crossing the First Threshold (encounter a guardian),

Act2 60 pages, Stages 6-9

6) Test, Allies, Enemies,
7) Approach the Inmost Cave (of danger),
8) Ordeal,
9) Reward (Seizing the Sword),

Act3 30 pages, Stages 10-12

10) The Road Back,
11) Resurrection,
12) Return with the Elixir (or treasure, or lesson).

consistently thoughout the text: "The Wizard of Oz" is analyzed on p15,18,58,86,96,105,113,124,131,139,141,147-56,178,190,200,219,234.

"The Wizard of Oz (1939)" trailer, YouTube URL(X-ZULpr8m5o)

p29 Uses Carl G Jung (1875-1961), Swiss psychologist, to explain the collective unconscious
p35 Uses Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist, to explain the hero and ego
p47-56 Uses the ancient Greek Homer "The Odyssey," poems where the Mentor guides the younger hero "Telemachus" on his Hero's journey. His Mentor is the Goddess Athena
p57-80 big section on Threshold Guardian villians, including herald p61, shapeshifter p65, shadow p71, and trickster p77 archetypes.

Section II Stages of the Journey

p81-236 has a chapter for all 12 stages, last page of Chapter has an Exercises page.
p81-98 Stage1) Ordinary world
p92 To humanize a hero, give a wound; a visible physical injury or a deep emotional wound.
p95 State the theme of story in the Ordinary World section
p99-106 Stage2) The Call to Adventure
p107-115 Stage3) Refusal of the Call
p117-126 Stage4) Meeting with the Mentor
p127-133 Stage5) Crossing the first threshold
p135-143 Stage6) Tests, Allies, Enemies
p145-157 Stage7) Approach to the Inmost Cave
p159-179 Stage8) The Ordeal
p181-192 Stage9) Reward


p193-201 Stage10) the Road Back
p203-220 Stage11) the Resurrection
p221-235 Stage12) Return with the Elixir


Epilogue: looking back on the Journey
p241-266 Analysis James Cameron's "Titanic" 25 pgs
p276-292 Analysis "Pulp Fiction" by Q Tarintino 17 pgs
p293-295 Analysis "The Full Monty"

Filmography p301
Bibliography p 302
Index (double space) p304-325
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jennifer gordon
This book has been recommended to me by many different writers and teachers. Because of this I came to the book thinking it would be fantastic. But while I think the author makes many good suggestions and analyses, my overall impression is that the book is restrictive. The guidelines and the stages of the hero's journey seem, to me, formulaic and not conducive to freedom of imagination, at least not in plotting novels. I much prefer books such as Kernen's Building Better Plots and Tobias's 20 Master Plots, neither of which I find to be restrictive or fixed on formulas. However, if one wants to write novels with "mythic structure," I suspect that the formulas in this book work very well. But the formulas, despite the author's contentions, don't apply to all fiction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This is a great book and so many others have given such positive reviews, that for me to just rehash them would be a waste of your time. However, this book is a practical and down-to-earth way to study the teachings of Joseph Campbell and C.G. Jung by analyzing a medium we watch all the time: the movies! Although it is designed for writers, the above purpose was far more valuable to me personally.

My only disappointment is that the book is not in a Kindle version. To the store or the author: when you have books that have 170+ reviews against them that should give you a clue that it needs to be in a Kindle format too.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Christopher Vogler's, The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, has become a must-read for all would-be writers because of its easy-to-understand storytelling paradigms. The book offers step-by-step guidelines for crafting complex characters and plots, as well as suggestions for fine-tuning works in progress.

The book draws a connection between good storytelling and mythology; for that reason, it does seem to be designed for writers of paranormal or science fiction, that is, genres which draw heavily on mythology or fantasy.

The positive: The book gives many examples from famous films like Star Wars, which makes it easy for readers/writers to relate and apply the theories being suggested.

The book talks a great deal about The Hero's Journey, the geographic, spiritual, intellectual journey a protagonist takes which helps develop him fully and move the story forward. For character driven novels, or author's who have difficult developing multi-dimensional characters, this book is excellent.

The negative: The book definitely seems to be designed for screenwriters, rather than writers of mass market fiction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alannah dibona
Probably the single most important book I've purchased other than Dixon's GMC book in helping my plotting.
Vogler takes various movies and applying concepts from the much more dense (and difficult to understand) Hero with a Thousand Faces book by Conrad, he shows us how many movies use a 12 step process for creating their external plots. He also uses these movies and breaks them down to show us how writers of fiction or screenplays can take these steps and apply them to our own writing.
The steps are the kind where you go "Aha! Yeah, that makes SO much sense" and really create a nice skeleton for you to frame your work around...whether it's romance, thrillers, adventures, drama.
A definite must for any writer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Whether you are a hard-core reader like me or a writer - budding or veteran - this is a book that you will definitely want to read if you love stories. It should join Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting, [...], and Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told on every writer's bookshelf - and every reader's who loves to fully appreciate the skill it takes to craft the stories you love.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tiffany dalton
While most of the kind things people say about Writer's Journey are no doubt substantially true, I would inject a few notes of context into this flood of enthusiasm:
If you apply the Hero's Journey literally in constructing a story, you end up with a melodrama or a fairy tale -- a story for children, basically. It will be filled with superstition and magic and many, many friends and foes of the hero who pop up more or less mechanically and act without apparent motive other than the structural requirement that the hero be assisted or opposed at various points in the narrative.
While this kind of unsophisticated melodramatic structure is probably necessary to reach audiences of the scale that see "Star Wars" or "Titanic," it is just not everyone's cup of tea.
Humanity has progressed in countless areas since the Hero's Journey structure emerged 3,000 or so years ago. Science, music, politics, technology and art are all very different now from what they were like in Homer's day. In theory, then, literature might progress also and audiences might be ready for new techniques that Homer never tried.
I know I am. I was bored to the point of nearly falling asleep by the Star Wars movies -- even the first one -- and I never got around to seeing Titanic. Nothing that I heard about it made it seem the least interesting.
Another point to bear in mind is that Campbell and Vogler may be guilty of over-interpretation when they claim the basic story structure of the Hero's Journey is a reflection of innate and immutable needs of the human psyche. It seems to me much of it has more to do with the storyteller's needs than the audience's psyche.
By that, I mean that a good part of the Hero's Journey structure simply reflects the component parts without which a story is unimaginable -- about on the same level of inevitability as saying that, if you want to build a car, in any culture, you're probably going to end up with something that has wheels and a motor, at a minimum.
Suppose you knew nothing of the Hero's Journey theory, and you set out in blissful ignorance to devise a few basic ground rules to create something resembling a story.
Well, you've got to have conflict of some sort, or what's the point? And you really need human actors (even if they are disguised as space aliens or dragons or lawyers) in your story if it's to interest human readers. How do humans come into conflict? Opposing agendas, basically. So you take one guy with an agenda and call him the protagonist. Take another guy with the opposite agenda and call him the antagonist. Now you've got conflict.
OK, fire the starting pistol. Your guys come into conflict and one of them wins in the first chapter. Story over and everybody's happy, right?
Of course not. Too short, too cut-and-dried, to be very interesting. So let's throw in a few ups and downs, some doubt and uncertainty, some advances and retreats, to put some meat on the bones.
Surely, most of us would call that a story: human actors, conflicting agendas, ups and downs. Certainly, anything less wouldn't be.
Obviously, you could call your guys the Hero and the Shadow; the conflicting agendas the Journey; the bit players Allies and Shape shifters and Threshold Guardians; and the ups and downs you could call Ordeals. And then you'd have the substance of the Hero's Journey, though in less detail than Vogler presents in his book.
All that said, however, even I think the Writer's Journey is worth reading, for the following reasons:
1. It is the shortest, most coherent presentation of a unified theory of story that I know of. Maybe it's not the only theory of story, or the best, but it is a strong one, worth considering.
2. It does drive home the useful point that every major character in a story, as well as the larger minor characters, should have his/her own story, arc or journey (call it what you like).
3. While it is true that too-literal application of the Hero's Journey structure will give you a fairy tale or a fairly stupid melodrama, it's also true - as Vogler notes - that you can modify the elements, dispense with the magic, and do other things that make the theory useable for more modern or literary stories than Star Wars or Titanic. To my mind, Vogler spends too little time on this subject -- a way of adapting the hero's journey to modern literature.
4. If you aspire to be a screenwriter, none of my quibbles matter. The Hero's Journey seems to be the sole context and vocabulary in which people in the movie business discuss stories, so you have to read the book and learn the lingo if you want to talk to them.
One final note of skepticism before I go: Vogler claims to have analyzed something like 10,000 movie scripts. Let's do some math. Suppose it takes him a day to analyze a script. (Sounds fast to me, but maybe he's a genius.) Suppose he does this five days a week, 50 weeks a year. That's 250 scripts a year, which means it would take 40 years to do 10,000 scripts. Plus, of course, he somehow has had time to write two editions of The Writer's Journey. Somehow, I doubt it. Maybe in the next edition of WJ, he'll explain his own Script Analyst's Journey.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
georgiana danciulescu
As a writer myself, I found "The Writer's Journey" to be invaluable resource. I have often been asked whether (or where) I studied the English language, grammer or story-writing in the past, only to answer with the following: I have never taken a formal writing class. But, on the contrary, I have studied some amazing concepts initiated by Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, only because of the invaluable information I learned within "The Writer's Journey" by Christopher Vogler. Mr. Vogler takes those mythological concepts, as applied to ancient folklore and applies them to modern movie science, screenplay writing and the art of crafting the characters and struggles that make up the great classic novel.

If you have a general idea where you want your next story to go, but aren't sure how to fill in the "gaps" I would suggest reading a copy of Christopher Vogler's "The Writer's Journey" and do so with an open imagination. You will be surprised how far your characters, storyline and story structure can go, with a few simple guiding principles.

It is amazing how much more I have come to appreciate the art of film and storytelling, after gaining a better understanding of how character archetypes play such a significant role in the development of story plot and character growth.

If you aren't sure whether you want to make writing a part of your everday life, or perhaps can't afford to attend a seminar or online class, or even if you're too busy to attend the local community college in your spare time, "The Writer's Journey" is a must-own resource for your personal library. You can use this book as a guidepoint or baseline for drafting a summation of where or how your story might develop. The one thing I have said of this book to many people who have asked about it, is this: If you read and understand the concepts within this book, and apply them within your own personal life, you might be surprised what you learn and which paths to avoid next time you are down a familiar road. I can say this much for my own personal journey. Each time I meet someoene I ask myself, are they here to serve as a possible hinderance or "trickster" or are they playing a more positive role in the journey of my life, perhaps serving as a temporary "mentor" figure?

The thing I am most pleased with, in regards to what I have actually learned by studying the concepts within Mr. Vogler's book is this: I don't have to worry about where or how my story is going to end up, during the initial draft stages. I can write several one-page synopsis, prior to any actual "writing" and share the ideas with various groups of people, taking in their feedback, by simply applying the concepts of structure, plot and character archetypes. And sometimes their feedback and the common means by with we all dream, can help essentially write the story for me.
The "journey" to say the least, has been amazing and enlightening.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
john hansen
An invaluable work for any writer who's serious about the craft. There's more useful and meaty info in here about creating and telling stories than in a thousand of the "How To Write a Best-Seller in Just Ten Steps" manuals designed for people who don't want to write so much as just type.

The big question you may have is "Is it worth it to replace my old edition of the book with the newer update?" The answer is, probably not. The heart and skeleton of this essential work remain the same.

If you are at all serious about writing, this book is necessary. If you already have a dog-eared copy that is still holding together, an update isn't necessary, but it will be a treat when the old copy finally disintegrates.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
katrina findlay
There are a minority of writers out there who through copious amounts of reading and a god given intuition have a natural feel for story structure and it's dramatic elements. They will hate this book. Don't let their elitism deter you.

For those of us who don't have a natural gift for dramatic structure this book provides a sound place to start. It will give you a skeleton on which to hang the meat of your stories. It will help you understand what makes a story dramatic. It will help you understand what makes a hero interesting. It will give you direction.

Granted, if you apply this relatively simplistic structure as a wrote formula and do not sacrifice the formula for the sake of your individual story, theme and creativity, this book will do nothing to make you a better writer.

P.S. Campbells writings (on which this book is based) are far more complicated and dense than Vogler's writings. If you are not up for a very challenging read then do not listen to other reviewers' advice. Read Vogler first. Then, if you're feeling up to it read Campbell work on mythology.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nancy o brien
This book provides a framework that can help writers and other folks engage with film, music, books or other aspects of culture. As we understand more about the mythic heroic journey, we learn how to look for movement within a story whether we're listening or speaking. Elements of story populate culture in more than just story but throughout songs, commercials, books, films and more. So learning some of the basic elements that Vogler explores can help us as writers, thinkers, storytellers and more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Having studied Jung and Campbell until my eyes crossed, I have to commend Vogler for his clear distillation of their concepts. Understanding the underlying structure of story is essential for anyone attempting to plot a novel or create a more compelling short story. Vogler provides an easy entrance to a complicated field.

Vogler uses popular films to illustrate the steps of the hero's journey in a clear outline that provides essential framework for making your story resonate with your audience. Although not every element is necessary for inclusion in every story, Vogler gives the writer everything needed to analyze a story and see where elements might be added to strengthen the plot, enhance the drama, and create compelling fiction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I just finished the third edition of "The Writer's Journey" and it was healthy in so many ways--the hero's journey, the archetypes, yet the most powerful part of it was how wide Vogler applies it to storytelling and what makes an effective story. I read the first edition seven years ago, and this edition reawakens what I read and explored at the time. The test, the special world, the approach--Vogler plants and explains ideas and how they can be fleshed out. Parts can be slow-going. This is a book to read and digest, and apply along the creative way, so it may not be for everyone who operates by bullet-point guides. It is, however, for all storytellers who reach deeply into their psyches and reflect and hone their craft. Well worth it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
angela roche
Having written over 6,000 magazine and Web articles, I'm not your average frustrated writer wondering why an agent hasn't signed me onto a $3 million book deal for my badly written novel. On the other hand, I have authored a few badly written novels. These, fortunately for most readers, have not been published.

The last novel I tried to write ended up being a poster child for "writing yourself into a corner." An article is normally 800 to 1500 words, so a different area of knowledge comes into play. I just can't seem to put together a novel-length work that doesn't read like a bunch of loosely connected articles. Such a work isn't a pleasure to read.

I don't like the idea of taking a creative writing class from someone who is teaching a creative writing class rather than enjoying the fruits of having successfully published a novel. This may be a silly viewpoint, but it's the one I have. Also, many authors who have never sat in such a class have been very successful. In an attempt to start learning how to tell a good tale of novel length, I picked up a copy of The Writer's Journey.

I read some of reviews that panned the book as peddling worn-out story structures that pretty much guarantee any writer who takes the book seriously won't have a dollar's chance in Congress of surviving (in case that metaphor escapes you, Congress burns money----why rerun the old snowball cliché?). But none of the reviewers' names were familiar to me, so I concluded these folks were non-achievers who have an ego-driven axe to grind.

If these structures were so 'worn-out," would that not mean that they underpinned many a successful book or screenplay? Vogler analyzed several movies that I enjoyed immensely, and those works followed this "worn-out" structure. If you think about houses, you will realize there aren't a great many structural variations compared to the vast number of floor plans, carpet choices, window placements, interior colors, sidings, landscaping, and other elements that give a home its own character. That's one reason those reviews did not dissuade me from reading this book.

Many reviews also give you a chapter by chapter breakdown. Since my repeating that doesn't add anything, I'm taking a different approach.

My every attempt to outline a novel has had dismal results. The next "new novelist" book I will get is going to address the subject of outlining. The reason why is I now understand a general structure for outlining. The purpose isn't to try to connect a series of scenes you've written. I have been doing this all backwards (I could use another Congress metaphor, but will resist the urge).

As Vogler states, you can use any structure you want and you can use any variation of the hero's journey (the structure that is the topic of this book). He calls it "a form, not a formula." The point is that you need to start with the structure and then work your way downward in the hierarchy of detail. This book is devoted to analyzing a structure found in a vast number of successful works.

Not having ever taken a writing class, I don't know if this is a fundamental concept that every MFA understands. But, I doubt it. I subscribe to three different magazines for writers, and have been a subscriber to one for about a quarter century. I've not run across this hero's journey concept before. Perhaps in a writing class, this is what you learn as the way to outline a book. Certainly, in grade school we learned how to construct a hierarchical outline using Roman Numerals and so the concept really isn't all that surprising. And, of course, everyone knows how to use MS-Word's collapsible outline feature (rather than paper index cards--yuck).

The twist here is the Roman Numeral portion of your outline, if it follows the hero's journey discussed in this book, will consist of Act One, Act Two, and Act Three. Each of those will then break down into capital-lettered components that each serves a specific purpose. For example, what will be the First Threshold your hero crosses? After you decide that, you can flesh it out.

I think if you have done a fair amount of writing, read dozens of books each year, have the composition skills needed to compose a work in Standard Written English, and have a way with words, you may stand a chance at writing a decent novel. The question then becomes one of what story you want to tell. But, you need a structure for that to be any good.

What do you write, most often? An e-mail is probably 100 words or less. A personal letter might be 400 words. A Web article, 800. A magazine article, 1500. Now, consider the novel. You aren't going to get an agent to consider one that's less than 60,000 words. But it can't be an article stretched out to 20 times its normal size. It needs an entirely different structure. Simply sitting down and pouring your heart out isn't going to get the job done.

People may argue that Vogler's book sets writers on a path of mass production. But if you think again of the house analogy, you see that isn't true. Vogler's analysis of many great works will help any writer better understand the structure behind a novel. Even if the novel you want to write has nothing to do with heroes, you can apply this same concept of structure. If you aren't a published novelist, add this book to your reading list.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
louise brown
Offering a detailed listing of every element you can think of in screewriting, this book is certain to please those with a passing interest in telling stories. Delving deeping into analytical commentary that includes storylines, story components, and character description, this book has everything needed to serve as reference when building a story.

Detailed in its description, it offers useful pointers on what works and why each storytelling element is needed.

Also very valuable are the illustrations and the handful of real-movie analysis included as appendixes. A must buy if interested in learning about screewriting and don't want to go through a list of manuals!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
No writer should be without this book. It is the clue to putting together a good plot that will appeal to all readers. Vogler uses Joseph Campbell's "Hero with a Thousand Faces" to explain how our pscyhe's are geared to the mythology formula based on archetypal characters: the hero/heroine, the shadow character, the mentor, the trickster, the shape-shifter, the guardian of the threshhold. Vogler shows how our most popular stories use these components and points out how movies adapt them to the silver screen. You don't have to a screenwriter to understand or use any of these materials.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tiffani brooke
There are many tools novelists and screenwriters use to create their art. None was as useful to me as Vogler's "Writer's Journey." This book was thrust upon me by a "mentor" -- rather forcefully, because I had "resisted the call" -- and through it I was able to enter the "inmost cave" of the novel I was trying to finish.
I "seized the sword" and "returned with the elixer" and ended up with what I consider a damn fine novel ("Life Askew" -- check it out at the store.com).
If you are writing a story, making a film or simply interested in why movies like "Star Wars" and "The Wizard of Oz" are so effective (despite their surface simplicity) pick up Vogler's book and simply read the introduction. Trust me, you will be hooked and follow the "hero's journey" to it's satisfying end.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
yd singh
I found this book useful, although the first edition of 1992 is better than this dumbed-down, politically-corrected second edition.
I discovered that I'd always tended to use the "Hero's Journey" structure even before I'd ever heard of it, so this book is a useful distillation of Joseph Campbell's "The Hero With a Thousand Faces".
Some reviewers have unfairly criticised the book for prescribing a formula. Vogler in fact doesn't do that; he acknowledges that there is no reason why a good story has to follow this structure, and that if you follow the 12 steps you'll have a story of some sort, but not necessarily a good one.
If you find the "Hero's Journey" myth a useful structure for your own writing, buy this book - but better still, buy the first edition if you can find it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Combining interesting glosses on old favorites with a decent exploration of how to frame one's own tales, The Writer's Journey is lively and thought-provoking. I think the fears of some that this book is nothing more than a Insta-hack book that will enable scores of talentless dorks to pump out scripts are overstated. Instead, I suspect that this book will enable some thoughtful creative minds who have been other hopelessly befuddled by form over expression.

As far as the idea that the book is a shameless ripoff of Joseph Campbell--as far as the ripoff part, I can't say. I haven't read Campbell. But the book is so worshipful of Campbell, I can't imagine that Campbell is turning over in his grave over the appropriation.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I recommend this book to every writer I come across. I cannot say enough great things about this book. Mr. Vogler is an excellent instructor and really makes what can be conceived as a daunting part of the writing process a lot more interesting and fun. I won't start a project until I've completed an outline based on the hero's journey.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ryan neely
This is a must read for anyone who tells stories in any way, whether vocal, on paper, or in movies. I am an aspiring author and have picked up many books about the craft of writing and the art of storytelling, but never have I read something as useful as this book. I wish I had read this years ago when I first started writing stories as a teenager in school. There are so many books out there that discuss the mechanics of putting a story together, from tone and voice to common grammar mistakes, but "The Writer's Journey Mythic Structure for Writers" reaches directly into the heart of what it is to tell a story and expresses that heart in a way that is easy to understand and to apply. I've used this on my own writing and it has improved my writing dramatically. This is definitely the best investment I have made so far in my writing. I also just purchased "Memo From the Story Department" by Chris Vogler and David McKenna, which looks to be just as useful and insightful as "The Writer's Journey".
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jamie berger
Yes, yes, the core ideas in this book are not original, but that is not why you might want to buy the book. You buy the book to be a better writer. And this book will likely help you if your story contains any kind of transforming arc. By using examples from popular film, Vogler is able to communicate the ideas clearly and powerfully. For lots of us, the ideas here are welcome additions to what we had sort of felt, but instead of a dark forest it's now a shinning yellow brick road to follow.

Classic ideas made modern. A worthwhile journey for me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
whitney l wagner
I've read this book a number of times, as well as listened to Chris Vogler's lectures -- and every single time I come away with a deeper understanding of the hero's journey, the underlying mythic structure of stories, and some really useful insights into whatever story I'm developing at the time. But what's more, I'm always inspired with a greater awe of life itself.

I always find it interesting to see what others comment on in the reviews -- especially the more critical ones -- and I feel compelled to respond to some of them...

First of all, let me say that I completely respect everyone's opinion. We all have different paths, different styles, different tastes... But I think it is unfair and misleading to state that this book distills Campbell's work down into a formulaic writing style -- and that we would be better off just reading The Hero With a Thousand Faces.

Don't get me wrong, "Hero" is a great book and probably should be required reading in all writing courses, but it's a 400 page scholarly text with very broad applications. Saying we would be better off only reading that to improve our writing is like saying we would be better off reading the collective works of Newton in order to learn how to play baseball!

Using the Hero With a Thousand Faces, you could probably create a powerful book on relationships, family, business and, of course, the journey of life. What Vogler has done here is created a classic writing guide that shows us how to create stories with mythical power. It is an excellent adaptation of Campbell's source material. And while it teaches form, it never forces you into a formula.

I highly recommend it to all writers; to anyone involved in the creation of stories in any medium. Read it over and over. Watch movies, read stories, and try to notice the mythic structure in them. Let these ideas penetrate your subconscious -- where they can work on you, your writing, and even your life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
paul rega
I almost gave up on my recent novel because I could not see the arc of the story and it didn't seem to have an ending. That was until I got a hold of The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure. It was extremely helpful and clear, and allowed me to build characters and create realistic plot based on age old stories that are natural to humanity.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
As a teacher my interest in the book was not so much in the hopes I would learn how to write a smashing new hit for Hollywood as how I could better see the patterns in narrative and relate them to my students. Certainly Campbell will remain a first choice in that regard but this suggests some interesting new facets as well. Perhaps a problem with contemporary story telling is the need to shock. Understanding the patterns that have traditionally worked may not help directly in a postmodern world that has seen the death of art though they may still be useful as a via negativa. Congratulations to those who have succeeded in their writing careers despite having read the book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
damona albert
I would not normally pick up this type of book, but, I decided to expand my horizons. The text is easy to read and I now see how screenwriters and fantasy writers can develop their mythical storylines. Vogler makes it easy to understand how the structure in a story is built, and it is translatable to any type of storyline. For the type of book that I do not normally read I surprisingly finished it all the way to the end. I would not read another book like this again, since it is more textbook than a writer's journey like Stephen King's On Writing, I left reading textbooks for school not necessarily for fun.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I was recommended this book by a scriptwriter friend who has had two film scripts optioned in the UK [no mean feat in itself]. I actually read both books. Boy am I glad I did. Vogler's work is concerned with the detail of contemporary film and story building whereas Campbell's work is far more interested and involved with the psychological elements of story building from a cultural/historical point of view. As reference text they both serve different purposes - Campbell's work is of enormous cultural interest with endless examples to fill out his [now well established and accepted] theories of myth and its relationship to the human condition; Vogler's less weighty tome is concerned almost exclusively with how to apply Campbell's ideas to film scriptwriting. It is a handy reference book that you can come back to time and time again for inspiration and guidance.

If you are doing a Psychology degree then go for Campbell, and be prepared for a long, long read. If you are trying to improve your skills as a storyteller/scriptwriter then go for Vogler. Much easier to read and far more relevant to contemporary scriptwriting than Campbell.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
a m schilling
Wonderful viewpoint on writing that every writer should be exposed to. A little repetitive and overwrought sometimes. I could do without the Jung psychology references. But still I recommend it strongly.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Having heard a recording of one of Vogler's lectures - which was largely based upon the same material as this book - I was eager to read the book, in order to get a more in-depth look at the concepts Vogler covered in his lecture. Unfortunately, the book really does not add all that much of interest or value. That is not to say that the material is not useful. However, if you've heard the lecture ("Using Myth to Power Your Story"), you've covered basics of the material more efficiently.

I will say that Vogler's book may serve as a good introduction to Campbell's work - The Hero with a Thousand Faces - on which it is, to some extent, based. However, I must agree with the earlier reviewer, who suggests skipping over the "intro" and going straight to Campbell. In addition to The Hero with a Thousand Faces, I would highly recommend all of the Joseph Campbell Audio collection - preferably with a comfortable chair and a glass of cognac.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Based on content alone, I would have considered three stars; however, I have a hard time accepting *writing* advice from a book so badly written. I realize Mr. Vogler is a story analyst, not a writer. Still, the style here is atrocious, often to the point of distraction.

As he describes various films, he frequently jumbles his characters and his actors, creating a rambling, grammatically nightmarish style: "Recurring mentors include 'The Chief' on 'Get Smart', Will Geer and Ellen Corby as the grandparents on 'The Waltons', Alfred in 'Batman', James Earl Jones' CIA official in Patriot Games and The Hunt for Red October, etc." (For the record, I typed this sentence exactly as it appears in the book, other than my inability to italicize the Jack Ryan titles. Yes, those commas are found outside the quotation marks; yes, Mr. Jones's name is made plural possessive.) This utter disregard for parallelism can be found on nearly every page. In addition, Mr. Vogler refers to some characters only by their names ("In the film The Last of the Mohicans, Major Duncan Hayward is the rival of hero Nathaniel Poe..."); he refers to still others as only the names of the actors ("James Stewart forces Kim Novak to change her hair and clothing ..."). I was left with the feeling of a first draft, as if Mr. Vogler hadn't yet looked up the names he couldn't recall.

If you can overlook these stylistic eyesores (obviously, I have a difficult time doing so), you might find something useful in these pages. Or you might not. As demonstrated by the variety of reviews, this book's usefulness really depends on the reader.

Do you have an intermediate grasp of mythology and archetypes? You'll be bored by this. Have you read Joseph Campbell's THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES? You'll probably wonder why anyone bothered to publish this, because Mr. Vogler quotes and paraphrases Mr. Campbell to a worshipful degree. Do you write with characters in your mind first, and let them "tell you what to do" in terms of plot? You'll want to approach this book as a road you can wander from, not a roller coaster track you must stick to or die. Do you have some fully developed characters you'd love to explore, but struggle with plot? This book (as well as any study of archetypes) can help you find some signposts to guide your way. Are you entirely unschooled in archetypes and mythology but would like to learn? This book isn't the best starting place available, but I doubt it's the worst.

Before you start reading, examine your writing goals and your knowledge of archetypes to decide if this one is worthwhile for you. (Oh, and examine yourself for grammatical-OCD tendencies to decide if you can endure it.)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lisa scarola
Gracious readers' of my various reviews must start to feel like confessors. I say this with tongue just half in cheek because it seems like some of my recent reviews have started with confessions haha. I confess this tome took me a while to finish. That was due to subjective reasons however and in no way is a reflection of Volger's work. In this resource/book Volger draws heavily on Joseph Campbell's THE POWER of MYTH so further his analogy that writing no matter what the medium is deeply indebted to Myths and archetypes. He then proceeds to define some common archetypal characters found in stage, screen, and in fiction. After presenting in layperson's terms the various archetypes found in these mediums Volgel then places them in context as how useful they are as tools to the aspiring writer and provides examples from classic and contemporary sources.
As I confessed this wasn't a breeze to read as far as I am concerned, in fact it uncharacteristically took me months to finish. This is not because Volger's book or journey was dry or pedantic, rather each unit or chapter was written to invite reflection, and for the really motivated exercises. I nibbled pieces of this rich offering happily allowing each chapter to be digested until I read more.
I am an aspiring writer(unpublished but hopefully not eternally unpublished teehee), yet am too subjective to state unequivicably rather this title helps me my writing, although I suspect it is inevitable that it will. I can say without doubt that reading Vogel's Writer's Journey I am a more enriched and discerning reader of other's fiction/plays/screenplays.
One last tidbit, although I have said Vogel refers to Campbell's THE POWER of MYTH frequently,in fact so much so that is in my TBR pile in VERY near future, that book is not a prerequisite for a fulfilling understanding of this one.
THE WRITERS JOURNEY is a trip that is infinite in page numbers but infinite in scope as far as its resourcefulness and prose goes. Don't want to end review with bad sentence structures hahar but oh well.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
. . . . . . but what is more noticeable is what has been left out.

It is obvious that the author is very knowledgeable in his field, namely, literary and psychological understandings of mythology over the last 50 years or so. Much of the advice he gives to new writers about the concept of "story" and "journey" is of value, as are some (not all) of the examples he gives. "The Heroic Quest" has been in the past, and remains an extremely significant literary motif. I also appreciated some of the stories he told about his own experience, especially his recounting of some of the "behind the scenes" in the Disney movie "The Lion King". I was pleased to see that some of my perceptions about this film were correct.

Why then only two stars?

Imagine someone writing the history of 16th and 17th century English theater -- and forgetting to mention William Shakespeare. Imagine someone writing an anthology of classical music -- and omitting Bach or Beethoven.

In my view, this is what the author has done. While the author has given Joseph Campbell, and his seminal work on mythology proper due; and while he has given Carl Jung his proper due (and arguably more than his due), he has completely ignored the writing, both fiction and non-fiction of JRR Tolkien, who besides being the best-selling author of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" was a professor of English at Oxford University for more than 30 years -- and was the foremost expert on the literary genre of myth and fairy-story in probably the past two hundred years. Tolkien's work on Beowulf? Ignored. "Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight"? Ignored. His essay "On Fairy Stories" (which is THE definitive word on the subject)? Ignored. And that's just the non-fiction. Tolkien's fiction, especially "The Lord of the Rings" re-defined the genre of the Heroic Quest. Yet both the book and the movies are excluded from his discussion.

Honestly, I don't know why this is. Perhaps the author is not familiar with Tolkien's non-fiction work on the subject -- but I find this difficult to believe. Perhaps he just didn't care for the books of for the films. Still not a good excuse. Perhaps the author is uncomfortable with Tolkien's philosophical and religious pre-suppositions. I just don't know.

All I can say is that a book of this sort which excludes a widely recognized expert in the field is a very incomplete book, and one that I can only recommend with serious caveat.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katherine brown
Chris Vogler offers a clear and straight forward framework from which to build plots. Reference to archetypal structure, with the accessible examples offered by film references, sets forth the basic concepts that fill strory structure.
This book will help any writer, new or established, to lay out the elements of a plot that reaches out to readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Using paradigms explored in the works of Joseph Campbell (Hero With A Thousand Faces) Christopher Vogler delivers an immensely readable, illuminating explanation of why certain classic and successful stories and films resonate so strongly with their respective audiences. Breaking it down into a roadmap of events and character archetypes, Vogler teaches by example how every writer can turn a go-nowhere story idea into a journey that will captivate readers--and editors--alike. Don't miss this great book! (For a list of additional must-have writing books, visit the Resources page at WriteWayPro's website.)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aitor er
Of the many screenwriting books I have read and studied, no other book has guided my writing in such a masterful way as "The Writers Journey" by Christopher Vogler. I encourage anyone one who plans to write a screenplay, book, graphic novel, or play to study the Mythic Structure that Chris developed years ago. His method has proven to be the ultimate blueprint for my writing and for that, I am eternally grateful!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah potter
Christopher Vogler's monumental work is a systematic recipe for success. By following his 12 step path to greatness it will be difficult not to come up with a sure-fire hit that will captive its target audience. This single book has greatly improved my own production speed when working with the Talent Industries teleplay visionaries.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carlos villamil
As a consultant and teacher to writers on marketing and selling their screenplays and books, I encounter both would-be writers and would-be story-analysts all over the country. When the discussion turns to what clients and students have read, The Writer's Journey always comes up, though it is usually just called "Vogler." When I ask students to make reading recommendations to one another, half say "Vogler" and half scribble "Vogler" in their notes. His work is accessible, incisive, universal, and useful to writers at all levels.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
frances woltman
A difficult book for me to read. Ms Vogler keeps referring to the hero as 'she' and 'her'. The word hero is masculine; the feminine of which is heroine. Poor old Christopher Vogler, it seems that the feminists got to her. Skip this and buy an earlier version before she capitualted to the loonies.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tony peters
If you keep in mind what the author is trying to accomplish, this book makes for a handy tool in a writer's toolbox. This is meant to provide a formula for character development. Minor factual errors aside, it is a starting point for a writer attempting to get a feel for the craft. As such, I think it is a good resource.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"The Writer's Journey, 2nd ed.: Mythic Structure for Writers" is disappointing reading, because "compendiums" don't make for good reads. Vogler, in spite of inaccuracies, is guiding us through his interpretation of Joseph Campbell's knowledge of myth and storytelling. That knowledge was vast. Vogler's contribution to writers and lovers of storytelling is tremendous. He gives us a glimpse into how deeply embedded storytelling is in the human psyche and how to use it against those movie studio suits. Hopefully, Vogler will be credited with starting an important trend: Intelligence and thought in modern movie making.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brijesh kartha
I found this book to be most helpful in developing characters more deeply according to their purpose in the story. The author presents an overview of the mythic structure with clear plot points delineating where the plot must change and how.

Although some exercises are provided, they did not seem to be particularly helpful, but the reading itself was fascinating. After reading this book and watching a lot of the movies the author refers to, I find that I have a clearer picture of plot, character development and pivotal points, both in my own writing and in that of others. Any writer can benefit from studying this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is one of the better books I've purchased on writing. Great ideas, inspiration and so many writing tools are presented that there is no way you can fail if you create your charcter arc, plot structures and dialogue with the knowledge Vogler offers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
liz thompson
Christopher Vogler has succeeded, at a relatively tender age, in imparting to the rest of us the kind of wisdom and insights for the ages that would normally be expected to emanate only from a Solomon-like sage/visionary of the distant past. One is transformed having visited this modern oracle and coming away with the secrets of the great story tellers of the classics. Critics and doubters of his genius who invariably speak of his work as simply a formula writing guide for screenwriters remind one of a rebellious teenager unwilling to sit at the foot of his wise grandfather and listen to the voice of experience; or the baseball rookie scoffing at Ted Williams's theories on how to his a baseball.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jonas pedersen
Chris Vogler's Writer's Journey is based on Campbell's Hero's Journey, which is part of his Hero with a Thousand Faces. Vogler is a film student and script reader/consultant who first saw how to break down Campbell's ideas for screenwriter. Good stuff here. But be sure to also read the book that this book is based on, Hero with a Thousand Faces," too.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
diane flynn
I had to buy this book for a writing class I took, and so I was forced to read it. I fundamentally disagree with the author's tenets, and assertions, and I find it's use for writing other than fantasy and science fiction, actually destructive. I do not recommend this book, unless you are writing science fiction/fantasy genre pieces. If you use the principles in this book in some non-science fiction work, you will end up with some version of a cartoon-like caricature of good drama.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Whenever I teach Common Problems of Beginning Writers at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, I tell the audience that if you can only afford one book on writing, Christopher Vogler's The Writers Journey is the book to buy.
The hero's journey is a great structure to compare your plot to and thereby understand why you may have plot problems. His character archetypes help you better understand the functions your various characters are performing.
Jimmie H. Butler
Founder, Pikes Peak Writers Conference
Author of The Iskra Incident, Red Lightning-Black Thunder, and A Certain Brotherhood
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melody warnick
This is one of the better books I've purchased on writing. Great ideas, inspiration and so many writing tools are presented that there is no way you can fail if you create your charcter arc, plot structures and dialogue with the knowledge Vogler offers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Christopher Vogler has succeeded, at a relatively tender age, in imparting to the rest of us the kind of wisdom and insights for the ages that would normally be expected to emanate only from a Solomon-like sage/visionary of the distant past. One is transformed having visited this modern oracle and coming away with the secrets of the great story tellers of the classics. Critics and doubters of his genius who invariably speak of his work as simply a formula writing guide for screenwriters remind one of a rebellious teenager unwilling to sit at the foot of his wise grandfather and listen to the voice of experience; or the baseball rookie scoffing at Ted Williams's theories on how to his a baseball.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rachel forman
Chris Vogler's Writer's Journey is based on Campbell's Hero's Journey, which is part of his Hero with a Thousand Faces. Vogler is a film student and script reader/consultant who first saw how to break down Campbell's ideas for screenwriter. Good stuff here. But be sure to also read the book that this book is based on, Hero with a Thousand Faces," too.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
sarah peck
I had to buy this book for a writing class I took, and so I was forced to read it. I fundamentally disagree with the author's tenets, and assertions, and I find it's use for writing other than fantasy and science fiction, actually destructive. I do not recommend this book, unless you are writing science fiction/fantasy genre pieces. If you use the principles in this book in some non-science fiction work, you will end up with some version of a cartoon-like caricature of good drama.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
genie hillen
I had the pleasure of hearing Chris speak on February 9 at Westside Pavillion. He speaks as well as he writes. He does a nice job weaving the threads of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell into a tapestry that extends the mythic structure to include film (primarily within the realm of US film making but encompassing a great deal of the world).
Understanding mythic structure can also shed light onto our own lives. I have compiled an extensive list of resources available at HolisticNurse.com. If you don't want to search all day here at the store.com, visit our site. We have done the "leg work" for you. Select a book, and you will be returned to the store.com to finalise your purchase.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hannah fettig
Whenever I teach Common Problems of Beginning Writers at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, I tell the audience that if you can only afford one book on writing, Christopher Vogler's The Writers Journey is the book to buy.
The hero's journey is a great structure to compare your plot to and thereby understand why you may have plot problems. His character archetypes help you better understand the functions your various characters are performing.
Jimmie H. Butler
Founder, Pikes Peak Writers Conference
Author of The Iskra Incident, Red Lightning-Black Thunder, and A Certain Brotherhood
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
If you're just starting out writing, or if you're looking for a book to help you better understand the creative journey then this book is fantastic and I highly recommend it. However if you're already well versed in the writing process, or if you're especially a read fan of Joseph Campbell, then this book is more of a quick reference.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
The problem with this book is that it limits story & mythmaking, ignoring the wisdom of Joseph Campbell, where the author distills lots of his theories from. Joseph Campbell's ideas leave myth wide open, and any stories generated from them. Joseph Campbell saw the call for new myth, particularly in today's world, when the old ones are getting stale and believed with much less passion.
Hollywood does not need to repeat the same story over and over. Luckily not everyone does, except for maybe Disney's cartoons. They do it well sometimes, but it is still the same and starts to get boring if you watch any of their movies too close together.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gaurav kumar
This work is a good primer on the origins in myth to familier plots and stories. The author gives numerous examples not only from literature but from film as well. A good resource also for anyone who wishes to use myth in story telling.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I love The Writer's Journey. And one thing that makes it particularly useful to me is the fact that the same basic principles (mythological approach of Joseph Campbell) used in the book are also used in the writer's story-development software program that I use (religiously): StoryCraft Software. In short, if you believe in the mythological approach as THE fundamental approach to story creation, then The Writer's Journey and StoryCraft Software should be your "bibles."
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
DO NOT buy this book if you are starting out as a screenwriter or you will most likely be lost. However I highly recommend this to people who have written several screenplays and/or already have an understanding of Film and more importantly structure.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
If only Hollywood writers and producers would read this book and learn from it, audiences might not have to be subjected to what passes for movie and TV entertainment these days. This is a must for any writer who is serious about their craft.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
The Writer's Journal is a terribly overrated book. These are my main complaints:

1) The book is repetitive. And then the book repeats the same thing. And it is repeated again. The book is, indeed, very repetitive. Repetitive. (Maybe because this was originally a memo written by the author with some guidelines based on mythology studies. That is expanded to 370 pages).

2) For a movie fan, the mistakes are unbearable. By example: that the Jabba the Hut conflict introduced in "Star Wars", is solved by "The Empire Strikes Back". I am confident that there is no need for me to clarify here the correction.

3) The formula (sorry, "the form", as the author calls it) is not universal as he claims. Sure, it has been used thousands of times, which is why so many movies feel "formulaic" (from "formula", not "form"). There are 12 steps (or stages) described by the author. Then he tries to apply them to classic or popular movies. But this works more like dealing with Nostradamus and his prophecies: you take a "prophecy" and force it to fit to an actual event. The author does the same thing. He takes a "movie moment", and tries to make it fit with his description of one of the steps. This calls to be vague, so he can have the flexibility for making his theory fit. So Alex Foley in "Beverly Hills Cop" is stopped by his boss before leaving Detroit. That is the "First Threshold". No, sorry, in another part of the book, it is a variation of "Refusal of the Call". And the boss is a mentor. No, sorry, he is a guardian. And Eddie Murphy is the Hero, and a Trickster, hell, no, he is a Mentor to the cops in Beverly Hills. While the author tries to explain that this shows the flexibility of the norm, it is really more trying to force existing movies into his formula (ups, form!)

4)The book is not useful as a reference. Really, I am surprised by how overrated is "The Writer's Journal"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
byron schaller
I've had a chance to review much of the literature about screenwriting. Most are merely technical how-to books.
But writing a good screenplay is different than fixing a leaky faucet. Vogler is the only author that approaches the craft of screenwriting at the depth necessary to give any helpful guidance.
There are few things in Hollywood that I could recommend without reservation. "The Writer's Journey" is one of them.
Scott Trost, co-author of "All You Need to Know About the Movie & TV Business"
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I read half the book and then had to stop because it was becoming counterproductive for my learning process. I have read many good screenwriting books and the hallmark of each was that they gave instruction on the form and left the plot and character decisions up to the would-be screenwriter. Within the Writer's Journey there are several pages of rigid templates(characters and plots) based on "the hero's journey" plot type. I feel like someone is "giving me a fish" rather than "teaching me to fish".

As general book on screenwriting, I feel that this book does a disservice to its readers: it so exclusively favors the Hero's Journey plot type that it conditions the reader to either (a)shoehorn the form of all their plots into some subset of the Hero's Journey or (b) refrain from even beginning to write a plotline that deviates from Hero's Journey.

2 stars (not just one) because the book's approach might help a beginner to find a concrete catalyst for his/her story.

A good alternative to Writer's Journey would be Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need. It's one of my top recommendations for the would-be screenwriter. It outlines a practical approach to screenplay structure but leaves the central character and plot ideas completely up to the screenwriter.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
manuel cantu
After reading this book you will be able to analyze any movie or story by identifying character types and plot structure from this book. It is fun to perceive the underlying structure of stories in this way. This is more formulaic than anything Joseph Campbell ever wrote. It works especially well for the original Star Wars movie.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I loved this book!

It was easy to read, to the point and stayed high level. Some of the other reviewers seem to criticize the book because it was not as detailed as the original sources of Campbell and Jung may have been. But I say - thanks for that! If I want to read works that were written decades ago that use out of date references to make a point and take a very scholarly approach to the writing journey then I would go to the source (and often do)

However I was looking for something to give me the 10k view of the theory - and the high points I needed to get the picture. This book did that perfectly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A good tool for analysis. A significant extended metaphor for contemplation. Take Aristotle's Poetics. Add some depth psychology (soul-study) from Carl Jung. Combine with some mythic theory from Joseph Campbell. Meditate. Creates an insightful method for analyzing plot (story-myth) and archetypal character. Best served hot. Also good chilled. Makes a hearty dish that should please all soulful writers and their muses. I recommend this book to all of my creative writing students. This text is clearly a five star book. It is a good introduction to Joseph Campbell's theory, easier to read than Campbell, and extends Campbell theory, helping writers find practical uses for Campbell's insights. The third edition get four stars because it has 9-point type. Editors, what were you thinking? Readers, for the sake of your eyes, read the second editon of this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ncn nothing
I haven't finished the book yet, but I am just over half-way through and from the first page I knew I would enjoy reading this. Every paragraph inspires creativity and a way to guide it. I am learning so much as I read and I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to tell a story.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
nina yusof
If you were writing another Star Wars, then you might find this book interesting. There are often mythic elements involved in stories when we look back over them, but Vogler's contention that all stories must follow this hero's journey is ultimately one of the most anti-artistic and self-censoring ideas ever to take hold amongst writers of performance scripts.
If I can quote from Albert Bermel's book 'Contradictory Characters', written in 1973:
"It happens that the wishes and fears we recall from dreams may coalesce into fragments of myth. Joseph Campbell has vividly united diverse myths into a monomyth, an all-encompassing tale of the heroes of all mankind through the ages, compiled from a tremendous assortment of verbal and written literatures. Myth (or the monomyth) may have some bearing on the drama, but I cannot accept the easy supposition that any drama in its essence IS myth. Certain plays have mythical portions, scenes, or characterizations... Myths belong to everybody; they are men's [sic] collective inheritance, but a dream belongs to one individual. If we reduce the essential action of a play to some mythical antecedent, we have, very simply, reduced it."
Why must writers, as Vogler urges, begin the reduction?
The structure which Vogler provides (looking awfully 12-step) has taken a big hold on Hollywood in the last 10 years. Watch for it in any big-budget over-hyped dud like Godzilla, where the disruption of the scientist's world by a big monster (leading to no-turning back heroic 12-step blah) steered the film into stupidity. (Any kid can see the original Godzilla films and see that the manic energy of the monster and the world that created it - a symbiotic relationship - is more important to get right than whether Matthew Broderick should get the girl during the final gutting of the big lizard. Read this book in a library. YOu'll understand why Hollywood films are so bad, and how stupid most producers to even contemplate this as the monomodel.
Free yourself from this rubbish, writers of the world. You have nothing to lose but Campbell's chains.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book is one of the most comprehensive resource for any aspiring screenplay writer. Although there are many books on the market which attempt to deal with the topic by providing technical tips, this special book faces it using a different, more emotional approach. Classical and modern movies as examples and a storyline-inside-a-book-about-storylines will guide you through the Hero's journey and, at the same time, through your own particular journey to become a writer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pablo laurito
When we write, it is a journey and this book deals with the many aspects we glean along the way. It is an excellent choice for those with an interest in writing and those who are already writers. Enjoy the suggestions and have an exciting trip.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dani schnakenberg
This is a book that all writers should read. It is the most useful information I've found on plotting. Forget all the other books - this one explains the archetypes of a classic Hero's tale and how it can relate to any genre of story.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
nuril basri
I bought this book with high expectations, having read the rave reviews. The reality is that it is a laboured list of arbitrary mythological archetypes fashioned into a kind of template for use in writing stories. He cites - and is in fact some kind of apostle for - Joseph Campbell - whose book "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" he really seems to be summarising.

I didn't like this book. I did not get on with it. I do not feel that it could help me wrestle with the demons and demands of pegging a plot out. It is too full of politically correct genuflection for me to take it seriously. Add to this the fact that Vogler uses this ridiculous alternating personal pronoun (referring to the author every second time as 'she', etc.) which is annoying, incorrect English, and highly distracting, and you have a book which fails for me both in terms of form and content.

Other people liked it, and they are welcome to their view. If you consider yourself progressive and see no contradictions in the current ethos of "equality" and "liberalism" you probably will, too. But I found it vacuous and annoying. If you want a manly, vibrant read then you should buy Robert McKee's "Story".
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
amira al3iady
I've read Vogler before and jumped at the new edition to read the additional chapters. Besides I've loaned my other copy out. If you actually want to read this fine book buy another edition besides THIRD because the print is the smallest I have ever seen in my life. It drives you absolutely insane. Which is why I find myself posting a review on the store. Content, fabulous, if I could read it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This is a must have for any story teller.
It tells you about all those aspects that good writer's know intuitively but lays it all out there.
It's also a great read for the personal aspect.. it's almost a self-help book. It's a definite reframe on life. Puts me in mind of the theraputic aspects of writing.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
mehdi soltani
This book on scriptwriting sticks to formula, purely and simply. If you wish to write more of the same (and there's no denying that formulaic writing is certainly commercial), you might find something of value here, but this kind of thinking is just going to create more of the same kind of hack screenwriting that Hollywood is already flooded with.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kenzie coop
I learn over and over that writing fiction is mostly about telling a story. Fortunately for us, some really smart people have put a lot of thought into what makes a story "good." I highly recommend this book. It's worth the time and money you will put into it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
isaac kerry
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary describes EPIPHANY as "an intuitive grasp of reality through something usually simple and striking"

Reading Christopher Vogler's WRITERS JOURNEY was a great epiphany for me in my work. It literally laid out the path of the business and coaching program I am creating for fathers.

I am so enthralled by how clearly the journey is laid out in Christopher's book. What a wonderful Divine blessing.

Dovid Grossman

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
larry fine
okay, let`s try this one;
when I finished my first script, the reader gave me an "advice"
and this way I bought this book. The script was good, I mean the
ideas, but the HERO is missing (???).
Actually, I have too many heroes, wanna say this book help me
understanding the structure of the script.
I read it twice, but I`ll recommend you; read it, as many times you want, you will find very useful.
This book is a real "medicine".
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
deangela webb
Writer's Journey is a very practical guide to plotting. While working out a plot for my first attempt at writing a novel, this book helped me visualize an overall structure. Reading through it stimulated ideas for my own story. I expect I'll come back to this book again and again during my writing career.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I had the pleasure of hearing Chris speak on February 9 at Westside Pavillion. He speaks as well as he writes. He does a nice job weaving the threads of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell into a tapestry that extends the mythic structure to include film (primarily within the realm of US film making but encompassing a great deal of the world).
Understanding mythic structure can also shed light onto our own lives. I have compiled an extensive list of resources available at HolisticNurse.com. If you don't want to search all day here at the store.com, visit our site. We have done the "leg work" for you. Select a book, and you will be returned to the store.com to finalise your purchase.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ronda hall ramirez
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary describes EPIPHANY as "an intuitive grasp of reality through something usually simple and striking"

Reading Christopher Vogler's WRITERS JOURNEY was a great epiphany for me in my work. It literally laid out the path of the business and coaching program I am creating for fathers.

I am so enthralled by how clearly the journey is laid out in Christopher's book. What a wonderful Divine blessing.

Dovid Grossman

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
krzysztof gabaja
okay, let`s try this one;
when I finished my first script, the reader gave me an "advice"
and this way I bought this book. The script was good, I mean the
ideas, but the HERO is missing (???).
Actually, I have too many heroes, wanna say this book help me
understanding the structure of the script.
I read it twice, but I`ll recommend you; read it, as many times you want, you will find very useful.
This book is a real "medicine".
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
dallas davis
As a big fan of all things mythological and story-telling, I would urge you to skip this book and read some original sourcework - such as Campbell and Jung.
The recent review about the formulaic storytelling of Hollywood rang true with me. Yes, one can deconstruct many movies through an architypal lens, but creativity must come from a deeper place.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jennifer de ridder
Found this book to be very repetitive and extroardinarly boring. I went into it with a very open mind actually looking to learn as much as I could but truly found this to be a pretty torturous read, I felt like it was just saying the same thing Over and Over and Over and Over.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
TWJ took a while for me to get into. Although I'm not a fan of mythic novels, I think any supposed guide should be written so that someone unfamiliar with it's subject can understand it. I didn't get that with The Writers Journey. What I received was a book with a decent cover that bored me.
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