The Writer's Journey

By Christopher Vogler,

Book cover of The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers

Book description

Originally an influential memo Vogler wrote for Walt Disney Animation executives regarding The Lion King, The Writer’s Journey details a twelve-stage, myth-inspired method that has galvanized Hollywood’s treatment of cinematic storytelling. A format that once seldom deviated beyond a traditional three-act blueprint, Vogler’s comprehensive theory of story structure and character…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked The Writer's Journey as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This popular text on screenwriting relates films to narrative ideas found in ancient myths around the world.

Vogler does an excellent job in demonstrating how films often use elements of plot and character that have proven to be universal characteristics of stories for centuries. He applies these concepts not only to fantasy films but standard Hollywood dramas such as Titanic

From Larry's list on the art of filmmaking.

This is an indispensable craft book. While Campbell provides in-depth analyses of myth and storytelling, Vogler takes the structural elements of writing a hero’s journey and provides detailed practical guidance about how to write using this narrative structure. In a sense, Campbell tells us what the ingredients are, but Vogler gives writers, such as myself, an instruction guide on how to mix these ingredients in plot and character arcs. 

Until I heard him speak and understood the depth and detail of this essential guide, I didn’t realize how influential Vogler is. I see that influence in books and movies all…

From Victor's list on the hero's journey.

When asked about the origin of Star Wars, George Lucas acknowledged his debt to Harvard professor and mythologist, Joseph Campbell. This book explains Campbell’s work and unlocks the power of myth in an understandable way. Mythic structure can influence every genre from romantic comedy to sci-fi and make stories 10X better by tapping into the deep, inherent dynamic of story instilled in us from the cradle. Plumb that depth, and you’ll find a passionate audience.

From Robert's list on for aspiring novelists.

Christopher Voger’s book gives comprehensive insight into the archetypal characters and their actions that are present in narratives, based on Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. The book helps writers to understand how their characters are defined by their mythic role of hero/mentor/shadow/trickster, etc. This book is an essential guide in creating a sound plot structure that aligns with the tenets of powerful storytelling. 

The Writer’s Journey gave me a solid understanding of the mythical aspects of character-building and story construction, which helped solidify the characters and plot in my own book.

From Rosanna's list on to help you write your best book.

If you were a screenwriter among screenwriters in the 1980s (as I was), you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a copy of this book – it was that important and that influential. Building on his mentor, Joseph Campbell’s, breakthrough work on “the hero’s journey,” Vogler lays out a template for story structure that is sturdy, solid, and workable. It gives writers a path through story where there was none, and helps the author know whether her story is a meaningful voyage of discovery or just an aimless wander. Many a Hollywood writer has written and sold projects standing…

From John's list on the art of writing.

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