You’ve most likely heard of The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler. It is required reading in film and writing courses. It’s on the bookshelf of many writers. Vogler — along with many professional screenwriters and novelists — sees the use of mythic structure as the key to creating powerful stories.
He details the book with his theories and the principles used, and gives hundreds of examples from movies to prove his points.
But if you’d rather skip the book and have the abbreviated version of Vogler’s ideas, then I suggest you use this handy template offered at Karl Bimshas’ blog. I found Karl’s template through a Scoop.It article.
Not only will the template get you started on a story, it can also be used to test an existing story. Does it lack a portion of the journey? Maybe that’s why it doesn’t flow as well as you’d like.
Be creative: the hero is just another name for the protagonist. Though the ideas in this template smell of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, they can be used for a variety of story types. Take your favorite story and try to plug it into the structure. You’ll find that many stories do fit. The Ring in one story is an attitude change in the other. The destruction of the Death Star; the walk-away from a bad relationship.
“Hero called away from her ordinary life to do an extraordinary thing that she’s reluctant to do.” Sound familiar?
Of course, this structure is not for every writer. It is a good tool and beginning point for a writer who’d like to experiment with a hero/journey story.
Click here to get to Karl’s site and then click on the image on his post (his image is sized correctly). You can then save the image to your computer and print it out.
Have fun with it!
What’s your favorite “hero on a journey” story? Do any of your current writings follow this structure?