Hi everyone! Can you believe its March already? Just a couple short weeks and Round 1 of 2012 will be over. It’s been an amazing year so far, new opportunities are on the horizon, a few long struggles are reaching their conclusion and in between freak snow storms the sun is shining in a new way.
To get things started, I have the much anticipated review of Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey followed by this week’s update.
Review of The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
The Writers Journey is not just a craft book but an essay on the human experience. Based on the writings of Joseph Campbell (Hero of a Thousand Faces), Vogler covers all aspects of the monomyth that pervades the greatest tales of the human race and parallels our journey through life. Vogler does an excellent job of revealing the vibrant power of the elements of dramatic story and accentuates them with compelling lessons on Polarity, Catharsis and the role that tales play in keeping our emotional, mental and physical aspects healthy.
Vogler provides excellent analogies, examples, and diagrams to show the power of myth in story and how it can be applied across any genre to give our readers/viewers a powerful emotional experience – and that, my friends, is the heart and purpose of true fiction.
From the author: “Caveat Scriptor! (Let the writer beware) The Hero’s Journey model is a guideline. It’s not a cookbook recipe or mathematical formula to be applied rigidly to every story.” Indeed not, in fact, after reading breakdowns of Titanic, The Lion King, Pulp Fiction, The Full Monty and Star Wars (all included in the book) it became clear how the elements of the Hero’s Journey empower the visceral nature of story when mixed .
In the words of Dante: “In the midst of life’s journey I found myself in a dark wood, for the right path was lost.” Every writer is in that same place at times (often, for some of us) and the Writer’s Journey acts as a guiding light to help us find the difficult to see path.
The Writer’s Journey is bar none the best writing book I’ve read (out of over eighty) and I not only recommend it – I’ll say it this way – if you are only going to buy and read one writing book this year, this is the one you want. Experience the Journey and discover the powerful Elixir it brings home to your writing village.
And now, on to the update.
-Write 7k of fiction per week. Yes, and well beyond. The writing was flowing like a mountain river in spring this week. I was focused on the WWBC project and applying the lessons learned from The Writer’s Journey. Characters are coming to life, the depth of the story is revealing itself and after a long struggle I’ve found the path through the woods. More on this in time. For now, I’m enjoying time with the voices in my head *grin*
-WWBC: A note. I had a great conversation with Donna Newton this week (my WWBC mentor) and it looks like I’ll be back on track with things in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned – this goal is totally coming back.
-30 minutes of treadmill 5 days a week. Things were a bit more chaotic then usual this week and I only managed 4 walks. Life is like that sometimes. I’ll be pressing to ensure I get in the right amount in the coming week now that the work transition is starting to settle into a rhythm.
-Read two fiction and two craft books by March 21st. Above is the review for the second craft book and one fiction is done which leaves me with Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement. I started this book yesterday and might have it done by the end of the week. Have to wait and see on that one. I’ve already started lining up my next “grouping of four” which seems to work well for me. Hint: Stephen King is in the next batch.
-Maintain sponsor duties. Just so you all know, I don’t count it as a “duty” but a “pleasure” to visit with as many of you as possible each week. Your journey’s, good, bad and otherwise inspire me and charge my batteries for the coming week. I hope that you find the same thing and encourage you to get out and support your fellow ROWer’s, they are an excellent group of kindred souls.
In a dark and lonely woods a friendly hand reached out and showed me the path to ROW.