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The Craft > The Monomyth Structure... thoughts?

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message 1: by Chadi (new)

Chadi Nassar | 29 comments Hey guys!

Who is familiar with James Campbell's Monomyth? Stories built around it make for amazing books/movies and readers/audiences really see themselves in the characters... has anyone attempted to write with that in mind?


message 2: by Luna (new)

Luna Claire (lunasaintclaire) | 58 comments HaHA - I just finished The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Campbell and I then read The Soul's Code. Both in prep/research for my WIP. I read The Death of Ivan Ilyich (authentic life theme) and The Fall by Camus and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner -- these are all related themes about choice, and authenticity. Tolstoy is great for this and I read Anna Karenina as the inspiration for my published novel The Sleeping Serpent. I am writing again with this in mind now. Theme of affliction and redemption - contemporary story (not fantasy or speculative) but yes, a spiritual journey.


message 3: by Luna (new)

Luna Claire (lunasaintclaire) | 58 comments oh, and it is Joseph Campbell not James...


message 4: by Chadi (new)

Chadi Nassar | 29 comments Hi Luna!

Yes, it is Joseph. Sorry, was thinking of my new character when I was typing and my fingers have a life of their own at times!! Hehe decided on Justin instead ;)

So you like the Hero's Journey arc? How do you find writing with that 'journey' in mind?


message 5: by David (new)

David Wake (davidwake) | 14 comments I've used it (and related film script writing theory, which is based upon it) and swear by it. I'd actually go further and say that you can't write a story that doesn't follow it.

Anything particular you want to ask?


message 6: by Luna (last edited Feb 01, 2017 10:06AM) (new)

Luna Claire (lunasaintclaire) | 58 comments I think the arc is essential. In epics like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, which are classic hero journeys - it is what makes for these timeless mythic stories. There are some powerful stories that do not have that specific arc. For example one that I just read comes to mind. A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara. In Anna Karenina, which inspired my novel, The Sleeping Serpent, there wasn't a redemption in the classic sense- no hero's journey of returning home changed, or enlightened. Anna's death was a culmination of events that were more of a reckoning. Whereas in the Goldfinch there was classic redemption. I still like the basis for the arc and allow it to be flexible.


message 7: by David (new)

David Wake (davidwake) | 14 comments Luna wrote: "There are some powerful stories that do not have that specific arc..."

I would very much argue that every story does, even those. But to make the point, I'd have to have read one of your examples.


message 8: by Luna (new)

Luna Claire (lunasaintclaire) | 58 comments David wrote: "Luna wrote: "There are some powerful stories that do not have that specific arc..."

I would very much argue that every story does, even those. But to make the point, I'd have to have read one of y..."


David, I do agree with you! I am just saying it is not always so obvious as the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings mythic epics! So not every tale is a "hero's journey" coming to enlightenment -- some end in death! Those epics wouldn't be the same without the transformation of Frodo (and Bilboa's journey as well) and that of Luke and the redemption of Darth Vadar/Anaken Skywalker --- Anna ends up throwing herself under a train (spoiler alert but everyone knows that).


message 9: by David (new)

David Wake (davidwake) | 14 comments The example I use is the epic quest adventure of Pride and Prejudice'.

A train! (Drops to knees.)NNOooooooooo!!!


message 10: by Luna (new)

Luna Claire (lunasaintclaire) | 58 comments Haha! I adore P&P -- An HEA never-the-less. Jane Eyre... a bit darker and Rebecca darker still. All three are top of my list!


message 11: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Luna wrote: "HaHA - I just finished The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Campbell and I then read The Soul's Code. Both in prep/research for my WIP. I read The Death of Ivan Ilyich (authentic life theme) and The F..."

Thx! I added to my TBR list. My daughter and I will read it together since she's writing fantasy/sci-if now.


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