I write these pages?
Welcome dear reader and
is your friend and humble Narrator. What follows
in these timid pages is exactly what the title says, a
cursory glance at the Monomyth story structure.
I will get to that, gentle reader, but first I need to
say a few things. The majority of the content that
follows can be found primarily within two sources.
The first is The Hero With A Thousand Faces by
Joseph Campbell. The second is The Writer's
Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers and
Screenwriters by Christopher Vogler. Both
books are readily available at most fine booksellers
and, failing those, there is always Amazon (I know
they have them). I am not affiliated
with either of the two works cited above.
main reasons I decided to put up these pages were to
enlighten people about The Hero's Journey. When I
was writing my first screenplay (nothing I've written
has been published yet...so take what I have to say with
a grain of salt) I didn't have a clue about the Hero's
Journey or the Monomyth. In fact, most people
don't. What most people can tell you though, is
which stories they like, and what, in their opinion,
constitutes a good story. Ask enough people those
questions and very quickly you'll find that most
people's opinions on what makes a good story will be
quite similar. Even stranger, you'll probably find
that most of these stories fit the Monomyth structure of
the Hero's Journey. (There I go again...and I
haven't told you what it is yet...patience young Padawan...it's
As I was saying, before I
so rudely interrupted myself, I wrote a screenplay.
Someone who read it (May the Lord smile eternally on
their soul.) hinted that I might want to take a gander
at Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces.
It was her polite way of saying, "This script ain't
got it, kid. Keep your day job." Well,
I decided to do what I always do when confronted with
new information -- I hit the internet. Although, I
found a lot of pages that talked about the Monomyth and
about Joseph Campbell, I didn't find any that described
what the Monomyth was. So, I went down to the
local B&N and snatched up a copy of the two books
mentioned above (Glad I did too). After I read
them, I re-read my screenplay. To my chagrin, I
became instantly aware of its myriad shortcomings.
I understood now what had gone wrong so I fixed it.
(It still didn't sell, but that's another story.) The
new version was a lot better. So, like the new
convert I had become, I felt I had to spread the news.
But most people will not wade through Campbell's
voluminous work, nor are they apt to buy Vogler's book,
because as had been quoted to me in the past,
"That's for screenwriters! I write short
stories!" They are missing the point.
But people like a taste of the material before they
commit to it...a sneak preview perhaps? And here
I caution you dear
Reader, take heed. These meager pages merely skim
the surface. They are here to merely whet your
appetite. To give you a peek at the light so that
you may catch a glimmer of what you are missing.
There is for actually reading THE
HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES. It's a little rough
going at first, but I know you can do it. If you
can't, Vogler's THE WRITER'S JOURNEY distills the
information in a neat and organized manner and also
includes a discussion of Jungian archetypes as viewed
through the Monomyth model.
I hope these pages are
useful and I hope that you will be inspired to read
these pivotal works. I thank you, and remember, it
is just the tip of the iceberg.