Friday, October 22, 2010

The Writer's Journey

Nancy R. Williams's blog is hosting a Halloween party. My costume is 1940s chic. Green shantung with a black cloche hat, ruby red lipstick, and nylons with a carefully drawn pencil line up the calf.

My treat is good wishes and good health for everyone. Tricks? I've got a bagful and they come from a book. I've just reread The Writer's Journey - Mythic Structure For Writers (Vogler) for the umpteenth time. Each time I do, I learn more about the craft of writing. It's a book that belongs in every writer's reference collection. It parallels Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey and explains in plain language the role of storytelling and myth in the human experience.

If you're stuck with an aspect of plot, this book will help you get unstuck. If you're looking for minor characters, you'll find them here as well. From the initial Refusal of the Call to the Return with Elixir, Vogler provides a template every writer can use to create a story worth reading.

Once again, Blogger is having trouble uploading links. The book cover should be right here: However, the empty space was my first clue something went awry. Hope they fix the problem soon. They were shut down for work on image stuff for two hours yesterday. Doesn't appear they've fixed the problem yet.

Question du Jour: What book is at the top of your list for writing help?


  1. The hero's journey has been a favorite of mine ever since I read The Hero With a Thousand Faces when I was in high school. I'm aware of Vogler's book and have read bits and pieces of it, but don't have it. A lot of folks swear by it. I simply went off in other directions. :-)


  2. I have 3: The Voice of the Muse by Mark David Gerson, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Bird by Bird, Annie Lamott.

  3. I love your costume KK. I forgot that they used to use lipstick to draw that line that represented hose, which was in rare commodity. You have my favorite book. It is amazing as you so well put it.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  4. Your costume sounds fantastic! For plotting aspects, I'd say The Hero's Journey.

    Have a great weekend!

  5. I often recommend "Stein on Writing" by Sol Stein. It's been around awhile, but it's so good.

    I also love your costume idea, Karen. The last time I dressed up was at work in the early 90s. I was a very ugly ghoul.

  6. Hi,

    Oh wowee - 1940's Shantung silk gown! I'm green with envy . . . That thin line on calf might stir something in my coachman, so I'll love you and leave you and drag my coachman with me. ;)


  7. gorgeous costume! And thanks for the book suggestions I'll have to hunt them out :)

  8. Patricia, you're right--any book on writing by Sol Stein will be worth studying!

    Marian Allen

  9. "the empty space was my first clue something went awry" LOL!

    Great costume. I have to look into the book you recommended.

  10. It appears more things are broken on blogger right now. I am unable to follow. sniff sniff. I'll keep trying.

  11. Holly, I'm headeed to your site.

  12. I have tried to do a pencil line up the calf and it has never gone well. I think the trick is to have someone do it for you.
    Glad to find your blog.

  13. Thanks for the Vogler book suggestion—a classic that needs to find its way onto my shelf! After Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird" (which I see has already been mentioned), my favorite would be Betsy Lerner's "The Forest for the Trees".

    Am enjoying your blog—found it at She Writes—inspiring group!

    Blog cheers,