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Monday, March 07, 2011
Tools for Plotting: Chris Vogler on The Hero's Journey
Posted by Colleen Thompson
For the past few weeks, I've been bashing my head against the wall, struggling to shape an amorphous blob of a "big idea" into what I hope will become a satisfying story, an epic journey for both the story's heroine and its readers. Recently, I came across a mention of Chris Vogler's wonderful The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, which is based on the work of Joseph Campbell,
and I was flooded with relief. Although there are plenty of other ways to tell a story, I've always loved reading, watching, and writing the classic hero's journey-styled tale. For the writer, the conscious examination of the unconscious structure we're all programmed to recognize can help to shore up structure in a way nothing else can.
This week, I'm going to try sketching out my heroine's journey by pulling this favorite from my personal toolbox. If you, too, could use a reminder (or an intro) check out this quick video with of screenwriting story consultant Chris Vogler speaking on the stages. The accompanying screen shots from The Matrix are extremely helpful, too.
And if you don't have the book, consider clicking through the link and picking up a copy. This is one of a handful of go-to resources I've used again and again throughout the years.