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The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  7,240 Ratings  ·  463 Reviews
Provides new insights and observations from Vogler's pioneering work in mythic structure for writers.
Paperback, 2nd edition, 326 pages
Published November 1st 1998 by Michael Wiese Productions (first published 1992)
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Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

An approachable and informative re-imagining of The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, replete with a simplified hero's journey and examples using modern books and films.
Nicholas Karpuk
The most effective movie moment on writing I've ever seen came in "Wonder Boys" when Rip Torn very dramatically intones, " A WRITER!" It's said without any trace of irony. This is a common feature in writers both amateur and professional. No empathy, no sense of irony.

If you've seen a lecture about story structure, you've probably been listening to someone regurgitate this same set of values.

It's doubly funny because from what I can tell, Vogler essentially rewrote Joseph Campbell while
بثينة العيسى
Jul 13, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: none
Reading this book wasn't a lot of fun!

Few years ago I read " The Hero with a Thousand Faces " By Joseph Campbell ( and I loved it! ), and I also read about 4 books for C.G. Jung ( I loved 'em either!) ..

This book is primarily based on the great work, effort, sweat, and research of these two Godfathers of mythology, and it annoys me to see the richness and depth of their work converted into a "recipe" for "ready-meal microwave writers!".

I Love Mythology, I think we all crave it in a way, and it
Dannii Elle
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be of invaluable help in shaping my novel and is a must for any writer's arsenal. Whilst many of the examples I had not heard of, as they are now outdated, the knowledge was imparted in such a straight forward way and with such a conversational tone as to garner no confusion. Writers, both amateur and expert, can benefit from comparing their writing to the outline suggested and I believe all can benefit from the advice given.
Mark Vandervinne
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
My father was an English Lit and Humanities teacher. He gave me a deep appreciation for the story. I've loved Joseph Campbell ever since I saw him on PBS with Bill Moyer. I went back and have read several of his books. Unfortunately, he seems to have written them for academia, instead for the layman, and sometimes I feel they are difficult to get through. Also, he doesn't always help tell how to use the myths and folklore.

This book is a godsend for me. While I have read other books dealing with
ياسمين ثابت

من المذهل ان تكتشف ان كل القصص تتكون من نفس البناء والقواعد ان جردتها
كانت هذه حقيقة اكدتها تعاليم هذا الكتاب

منذ اسبوع حضرت محاضرة عن كتابة السيناريو قدمها الكاتب المحترم شريف عبد الهادي
اعترف انه حمل في محاضرته المكونة من ساعتين ونص محتوى واسلوب اقوى وافضل بكثير من هذا الكتاب

كنت قد قررت قراءة هذا الكتاب لاضافة تفاصيل وتثبيت المعلومات التي حصلت عليها من محاضرة شريف لكن الكتاب لم يكن ممتعا ومركزا مثل المحاضرة بل كان يحمل الكثير من الحشو واللف والدوران حول نفس النقطة كما ان الاسلوب كان مزعج بعض الشئ
Christine Locke
A few years ago, I did comb through The Hero with a Thousand Faces and create my own guide for my storytelling. It was hard. It took a long time--time that I could have spent writing. If you are, like me, more a storyteller than a scholar, you need to dive right into this one.
If you are already a Jungian or a Joseph Campbell scholar, this book is not for you. Anyone else, writer or not, should give Vogler's work a try. If he challenges and inspires you to find out more about Campbell and Jung, h
Michael Burnam-Fink
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
This is basically The Hero With a Thousand Faces turned into a self-help guide for aspiring screenwriters. Vogler is deeply experienced in how Hollywood makes stories, having worked as a professional narrative-smith for several major studios including Disney and Fox, and the advice is pragmatic, flexible, and surprisingly robust. Each chapter is concluded by a set of questions that a keen professor might ask of a story. Vogler would be the first to admit that the Hero's Journey is not a prescrip ...more
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-class
If you're a writer and you aren't using this book, you need to be using this book. We used it to study character archetypes and stages of a hero's journey in Harry Potter this semester, but the book honestly gives you so much more than that. At the end of each chapter is a series of questions for you to answer about your own WIP, making it clear where the gaps are. I loved using this for class, and I'm happy to be getting more than a semester's use out of it.
Ali Arabzadeh
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
چیزی که هنگام خواندن این کتاب برایم جالب بود لذت کشف چیزهایی بود که تا آن لحظه جلوی چشمم بود ولی من به وجودشان یا دستکم به اینکه «اینطور» هستند متوجه نبودم. مثل وقتی که کسی به صفتی یا خصیصهای در شما اشاره میکند و شما در عین تصدیق به وجود آن صفت، جا میخورد که چطور تا به امروز خودم به همچنین چیزی توجه نکرده بودم. ...more
Saundra Goldman
Jan 27, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
When I first heard about this book, I resisted it as it sounded like a formula for success in Hollywood (Vogler was an advisor at Disney). I was at the beginning of my writing journey and wanted to give myself freedom to write in whatever direction I wanted. Also, I had just finished a Ph.D. program, and I wanted to write without rules for awhile. That was ten years ago, however, and lately I've become interested in mythic structure and archetype Since Vogler translates Campbell's ideas about my ...more
Jul 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a new way of looking at stories and movies from this book. They say it is one of the fundamental texts for hollywood script writers and I believe the archetypes and journey stages are strong models to refer to for the fiction writer. One might best explain this book in applying one of its models - the journey stages - to a film many of us are familiar with. I tried it with Forrest Gump:

1) Ordinary World: Begins life as a cripple, with odds stacked against him

2) His quest becomes Jenny
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first browsed tried to read this book 10 years ago I didn't get passed the first 50 pages. My main problem with these kind of books is that they are so packed with information that it is hard for me to apply their lessons later. I might retain the gist of what they preach, but I end up forgetting most of the specifics, and so it feels like a waste of time to read them from cover to cover.

These last few weeks I have indeed read it cover to cover, but this time I had a concrete goal in min
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book goes well with a cup of hot tea and Bill Moyer's video.

The title was poorly chosen in my opinion because it limits readership to those who see themselves as writers. How sad. This book is for anyone--anyone who knows or doesn't know that they are the hero of their own story. Which is pretty much everyone, since the definition of hero includes, "central character", "he who grows the most throughout the story", and so on.

So aside from bringing more clarity and enjoyment to the movies you
Eric Witchey
Oct 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Aspiring writers
Shelves: writing
Excellent distillation of Joeseph Campbell's work. This book delivers examples and guidance about how to use the mythic archetypes described by Campbell in his works. The book is for writers of fiction who hope to capture the power of the Heroic Journey described in The Hero of a Thousand Faces. However, this book is no substitute for reading Campbell's work, which is much broader and richer, as Vogler points out.
Stacy LeVine
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Extremely useful for helping me get in the head of my 70-year-old redneck semi-retired hitman character. 'Cause really, what the hell do I know about THAT? Haha!!
Erin Brenner
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marketing-books
This is a great book for anyone wanting to understand how to use Campbell's Hero's Journey in their writing, be it fiction or nonfiction--including content marketing. Vogler is a movie-script writer and he focuses on popular movies as his examples, making it easier to familiarize yourself with the example if you haven't seen it.

I read this book after it was recommended in a webinar that reviewed the basic structure of the Hero's Journey for use in content marketing, and I was able to immediately
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Novelists, short fiction writers and screenwriters
My creative writing mentor in high school passed this on to me to help make my stories more coherent. Various writing rules change all the time but the one thing is constant. A character's goals, the obstacles they face to get to said goal, and the character's decision to face them or turn away. This book is an excellent structure for both new writers looking to hone their structure and veterans who want to revisit and compare their story structure with this classic model. It follows the hero's ...more
Lynne Handy
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book rates ten stars.

Christopher Vogler is a story consultant for major Hollywood filmmakers and writers. In "The Writer's Journey," he gives credit to the work of Joseph Campbell ("The Hero with a Thousand Faces,") which posits that elements of mythology are universal human truths. Vogler uses heroic characters in films to illustrate components of the mythic journey: in particular, "Red River," "Star Wars," "The Wizard of Oz," and "Pulp Fiction."

I've belonged to several writers groups and
I bought this book as set reading for a writing course I'm currently studying. Having recently finished, I can say without doubt it's the most useful book on writing I've ever read - and I've read a fair few of them.

The great thing about this book is its simplicity. The main concept - that all stories and narratives follow a set path, or journey, involving archetypal characters - is a strong one that's easy to grasp. The rest of the book then elaborates on the theme, exploring diverse avenues li
Shannon Mayer
Jan 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great book in the beginning and middle (Mapping and Stages of the Journey) drags near the end as Vogler starts to ponitificate a bit. He likes to write and it shows in that the point is always made but not before many, many pages of buildup. I found this left me skimmmng and not reading so much near the end.

I'm sure I will re-read sections of this book again in order to get more from it. Seems to me it is that kind of book and I do believe that it is a read neccessary for all authors at all leve
Nov 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
A massive, rambling book that seriously needed editing, but it was interesting, and worth reading. At times I almost laughed out loud, because it was ridiculous. The hero is defined as 'the protagonist' and then we were told this amazing coincidence that all stories have one (male or female). Well, duh! Everything is stretched like this, to the point of the ridiculous, but there are genuine insights as well. Most useful for writers is the knowledge that Hollywood works to this model, and our wor ...more
Giovanna Barbieri
Imperdibile per chi desidera fare della scrittura un mestiere. Il saggio analizza gli achetipi che si trovano in letteratura e nel cinema: la figura dell'eroe, del messaggero, del saggio (o mentore), del guardiano della soglia, dell'ombra e dell'antagonista.
Certo, alcune figure potrebbero anche mancare in un romanzo e non ne risentirebbe affatto :)
Jun 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want to truly understand the power of story this is a must read. What Vogler has done is taken A Hero of a Thousand Faces and made it simple to understand. Instead of using myths that no one knows he uses movies to show how stories are shaped by an ancient pattern. Powerful book.
May 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-read, writing
This is a great book! It took me a long time to read only because it was so densely packed with ideas that I needed time to process them all. I highly recommend it, especially if you're interested in the mythological/spiritual aspects of story telling.
Ksenia Anske
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Every writer, read this book. The end.
Kevin Xu
Just a copy of Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Face, but for modern readers.
Newton Nitro
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing-guides
A Jornada Do Escritor - Christopher Vogler | Um Guia Mítico e Fundamental para Escritores! #resenha #dicasparaescritores

A Jornada do Escritor - Christopher Vogler | 488 páginas | Aleph, 2015 | Lido de 30.06.18 a 02.07.18


Em 1949, no clássico O herói de mil faces, o estudioso Joseph Campbell conceituou a chamada Jornada do Herói: uma estrutura presente nos mitos e replicada em todas as boas histórias já contadas e recontadas pela humanidade.

Em A Jornada do Escritor, Christopher Vogler faz
Feb 26, 2011 rated it liked it
One of the books they made us read in film school way back when was Christopher Vogler's book THE WRITER'S JOURNEY: MYTHIC STRUCTURE FOR WRITERS. Vogler has come out with a third edition, so I thought I'd take a read.

Vogler is coming at story structure out of the Joseph Campbell HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES tradition. Campbell theorized that hero stories have a similar structure across all human cultures, and that there are archetypes that we always see in them: the refusal of the call, the mentor
Jaq Greenspon
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers, critics
Shelves: lithuania, reference, 2013
When you "spell" a word correctly, you are in effect casting a spell, charging these abstract, arbitrary symbols with meaning and power.

Christopher Vogler's book is, in effect, a "Hero's Journey" for dummies, with a screenwriting angle thrown in for good measure. He makes no bones about the fact he's basing his research on Joseph Campbell's work, with a touch of Jungian philosophy,, all set against a Hollywood background. This makes sense, though. As any good teacher, Vogler uses a more modern l
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  • GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction
  • Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • 20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them
  • The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great
  • Description & Setting
  • The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller
  • Characters and Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Scene & Structure (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish
  • Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction
  • Techniques of the Selling Writer
  • Dialogue: Techniques and exercises for crafting effective dialogue
  • Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time
  • 45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters
  • The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile
  • Plot
  • The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives
  • Chapter After Chapter: Discover the Dedication & Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams
“I realized that the good stories were affecting the organs of my body in various ways, and the really good ones were stimulating more than one organ. An effective story grabs your gut, tightens your throat, makes your heart race and your lungs pump, brings tears to your eyes or an explosion of laughter to your lips.” 23 likes
“The young, in their innocence, are often wise and capable of teaching the old.” 10 likes
More quotes…