Sunday, 14 January 2007

This Writer's Journey

Finally, I’ve found the groove for Josie and Will’s story! I started it in November and I’m still only at the start of chapter five. Deadline is in 6½ weeks, so I’d better speed up.

I find I just can’t write if I don’t have a clear idea of where I’m going. I’d plotted out this book, but somehow it just wasn’t working. Help!

Help came in the form of “The Writer’s Journey” by Christopher Vogler. I’d read about it on Michelle Styles’s blog and had decided to by it just before Christmas.

Vogler has studied the works of a man named Joseph Campbell who looked at traditional stories and myths from all over the world and discovered that similar characters and plotlines kept appearing again and again. Vogler has expanded on this from the viewpoint of telling a satisfying story.

When I first heard of this idea, I wrinkled my nose a bit. I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of a character having a prescribed series of events he must go through. It seemed a bit restrictive. Vogler is the first to say that what he calls “the hero’s journey” is only a rough guideline. Not all stories will incorporate all the elements; what goes in depends very much on the needs of the story.

I found, as I read the book, I started asking myself all sorts of questions about my current wip, and by the time I had gone through the book and written all these questions down (and answered them) my mind was boiling with ideas to get my stalled novel kick-started. I also feel I’ve found a deeper layer to my characters.

So, I thought I’d blog about this over the next few weeks. I don’t pretend to be an expert on this. I’m learning how to apply it, but I’ve been fascinated to read books and watch films with it in mind and see its varied applications.


liz fenwick said...

May have to try this one! Happy to know you're back on track:-)

Michelle Styles said...

Oh hooray that you have read Volger. I found him very interesting. He does make you think.

He is very much three act, whereas McKee is less that way. If you haven't read McKee --Story. It is a good companion piece to Volger.