The Writer’s Journey — Writing Tools

In this post on Writing Tools, I’m going to talk about the first writing book I ever bought. I found it while working in the stocking room at a local bookstore in 2002. I’d been busy putting price stickers on a bunch of books that had just been received. I came across this one and it intrigued me. I glanced over the book, then set it aside to buy at the end of my shift.

That book was The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler.

I see that there is a 3rd Edition to The Writer’s Journey now. I’m not sure how much has changed between the 2nd Edition that I have and the newer 3rd Edition, so if you pick this up, there may be a few differences.

Anyway, the book goes through what it calls “The Hero’s Journey.” It points out a common structure and method to many classic myths and great stories. When you take an in-depth look at the most popular fiction out there, you can often see echos of the Hero’s Journey concept throughout them all.

As I read through The Writer’s Journey the first time, I saw so many little hints that could make Sentinels of Mysera better. I took my list of characters and figured out where they fit in the various Archetype roles. Then I looked at my plot itself and saw how it already fit in the Hero’s Journey model, and saw ways to improve upon what I had.

I read and re-read that book. Highlighting, marking, and dog-earring the pages to help me find my way more easily.

For the first drafts of Sentinels of Mysera, Cavern of the Clan (Sentinels Book 3), and Shadows of the Tempest (Sentinels Book 4), I used the Hero’s Journey model as a template for the outlines. Until I learned how to use Holly Lisle’s plot card method, this book was the framework that I followed for every draft. Now, I may have followed the Hero’s Journey a little too strictly at first, but the framework behind it is good and solid if used wisely.

Personally, I think this is a must-have for any writer’s library for all the valuable insights it offers.

Have you ever read The Writer’s Journey? What did you think?

One thought on “The Writer’s Journey — Writing Tools

  1. Pingback: Plot Cards — Writing Tools | A Mind With a View

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