It was in May 2004 that I first came across Vogler's book: The Writer's Journey : Mythic Structure for Writers.
Vogler, a motion picture producer and a story consultant to major movie companies, lists 12 steps in his book to structure a good novel/movie. He gives examples from different movies. (While I know many like to illustrate literary issues through movies, I still think it is a strained relation-ship given the two media are so different.)
In any event, I thought I'd bring the 12 steps here. Vogler takes a whole book explaining them, I think they're pretty self-explanatory.
1. Ordinary World
2. Call to Adventure
3. Refusal of the Call
4. Meeting with the Mentor
5. Crossing the First Threshold
6. Tests, Allies, Enemies
7. Approach to the Inmost Cave
9. Reward (Seizing the Sword)
10. The Road Back
12. Return with the Elixir
This is not a formula, but a form, Vogler is quick to point out.
I'm not a big fan of 'writing books'. I prefer to learn by assimilation. That is, I prefer to read and learn from these fine examples (or not). But of course, each of us is different. Among those who read 'writing books,' the views range from the best book ever written on the craft to the worst one yet. Quite a range, although many think it is an improtant resource for writers.
To me, this 12 step program seems to apply more to adventure/fantasy movies/novels but Vogler gives examples even from The Full Monty. I guess one can tweak the meaning to apply it to other genres as well.
It is important to learn the 'craft' and to pay attention to what's going on, but it is also very important, in my opinion, to maintain a personality-uniqueness-originality.
Categories: writing, plot, process