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4.6 out of 5 stars43
4.6 out of 5 stars
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2010
This was recommended by Amazon, based on purchase history. Customer reviews were good so I bought it.
This is probably the best book I've bought on writing. It's clear in its structure and if this is used by the "big boys and girls" for templating, then it will definately help the rest of us.

It covers screen and novel writing in equal measure, since the templates can easily be applied to both.
Even if you are a writer already, compare the template ideas to what you've written already. Watch some of the films he recommends and see how they compare with the ideas in this book.

Great buy. Wish I'd got it years ago!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2014
Our world is overflowing with clumsy and turgid texts that barely reward the effort of reading. What we all need is less pap and more pudding. We need stories that nourish and inspire us. We need stories that lift the soul to those enchanted and eternal realms from which we can return refreshed, filled with zest to revitalize and revamp the world of everyday cares. But writing those stories is a challenge.

Christopher Vogler knows this. His inspirational guide to ambitious writers of all kinds, but especially those who burn to write classic novels and screenplays, has surely lit the flame of many a soul that might otherwise have gone out in the weary climb to fame and fortune. Both in book publishing and in Hollywood, the road to stardom is long and hard. A writer needs a guide like this to light the way.

The book is replete with references to classics old and new that show how to do the job. The mythic structure Vogler reveals behind those classics is eternal, and even writers of Hollywood comedies can learn a lot from it, and doubtless have in the years since his book appeared. The frontispiece illustrations for the chapters in the third edition are beautiful. They set the tone for the chapters quite delightfully.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2008
The book is terrific but just a warning for those who are a bit short-sighted - the print is very small and very pale - in contrast to the earlier, heavy-type editions. Don't know what the publisher was thinking of.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2013
As someone interested in telling stories through a variety of media, reading this book opened my eyes to the patterns in all stories that are both present and yet not always seen.

Christopher Vogler writes of his storytelling theories with an air of intellectual sophistication that is never pompous, but insightful and inspiring. Vogler uses examples from Fairy-tales, Greek Theater, Philosophy, Classic and Modern Cinema and even the Human body, amongst others, to convey the fundamental notions contained in all good stories. He successfully takes subjects that any reader might not necessarily be interested in: (e.g. in my personal case: Philosophy and Greek Theater) making them totally relevant to the art of storytelling. Above all Vogler's writing style is accessible, making this book a deep but enjoyable read.

Any book you can walk away from feeling inspired and better educated by is a good one in my view, and this one is no exception. The best part is: you don't even have to be a screenwriter to fully appreciate the brilliance of Vogler's work, as he makes clear in the book itself, The Writer's Journey is not just applicable to story-writing (in all media) but to life in general, putting events and people one encounters in every day life into a relatable context... just like the best told stories.

Overall, an essential buy for both writers, and just about anyone who fancies an intellectually stimulating read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2009
This is certainly one of THE texts to be read by any budding scripwriter, or anyone with an interest in story structure as a whole. As you will read in other reviews this book can also be connected to ones own life and the obstacles we all face. Some of you may wonder if this is worth reading as you want to write something different not subscribing to the usual '3 act structure', but this book can be perceived as one of the 'rule books' of (script)writing, and you can only break the rules once you know what they are!
Highly recommended
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2013
I loved this!
I found it via Steven pressfield's website and blog and I'm very glad I made the purchase.
I've already written and published two books but I haven't yet attempted a fiction. This book has really helped me organize my story plan and add depth and shade to both that and my characters. The questions the author poses at the end of each chapter were wonderfully useful for demonstrating the points he makes as well as generating ideas to use in my book.
If you're thinking of writing a book (or screenplay), this is for you. Highly recommended.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 July 2009
If you are interested in becoming a writer, it helps to read several of these books. Having already read Story, and gone to a seminar by Robert McKee, I am interested in reading others because not all wisdom resides in any one school.

Chris Vogler offers fresh and invigorating perspectives, illustrated with fascinating examples from many excellent movies from such as Wizard of Oz. He worked on the screenplay of The Lion King, and I found its derivation from the plot of Hamlet interesting to say the least.

If you're like me the you may appreciate the Metaphor of the Hero's Journey the most. George Lucas in Star Wars follows the mythical blueprint laid down by Jseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
Vogler offers a succinct inspiring explanation and I could imagine myself in the hero's shoes doing what the hero has to do, what we all have to do. Having read this, the familiar patterns of many great movies suddenly became clearer. Additionally the explantion of the common mythical archetypes merits continued reading. For example the trickster appears in both Star Wars, and The Matrix, and you may recognise Darth Vader as pure shadow.

Many movies start in the Ordinary World, and then there is the call to adventure. Often the hero is reluctant to make a change, so then we have the next stage which is refusal of the call. Eventually we move into the Special world, and in SW and The Matrix our hero joins the rebels and starts to develop special abilities. Another good example of this is Wanted with Angelina Jolie.

He uses over 100 well known movies as examples to illustrate his points, including Titanic. I truly appreciate these insights. Perhaps the most interesting insight for me personally is the idea of polarity or conflict. While every story will have an antagonist and a protagonist, the antagonist does not have to be a villain, but could just be a contrasting or competitive style of achieving the same end.

We may be the antagonist in our own life story, and it may seem paradoxical that even the antagonist sees himself as a hero. Relating this to my own life I see the antagonist as being active, in contrast to the hero who is often passive, at least early in the story.

So, this book I am happy to own, and recommend. Some people may say this book is derivative of The Hero With a Thousand Faces (Paladin Books). Well, it's a much easier read than HWTF, and offers a very neat synopsis of the information provided in that book. If you're wondering which one to read first, I recommend this one because it is easier to understand, and then you will find it easier to understand the other one, because you have read this one.

I also recommend Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting. Conflict is to story, as sound is to music.

I hope you found this helpful, and I think you will enjoy the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2011
Christopher Vogler has a lot of credibility in the script doctoring world and he knows what he is talking about as he has worked on a lot of major Hollywood films. I love this book because it lays out a simple to understand 12 step structure for designing a story, both for filmscripts and for novels.
Some might say his structure is too simple but I am not Joyce, Hemingway or Dickens so I don't care; it gives you the basics to build on. I would suggest all would-be writers read this first to get you going. Then I suggest Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwritingto understand scenes and character arc and The Story Book: A Writer's Guide to Story Development, Principles, Problem-solving and Marketing to understand subtext and you should be able to make a reasonable go of your novel writing or filmscript writing career.
I am glad I read this before I wrote my first novel Call me Aphrodite
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2008
The writer's journey is a must-read for whoever wants to write a story for any kind of media. Differently from a Syd Field's book, which is more focused on just the screenplay form(and which i recommend too), the writer's journey explores many archetypical elements that are found in any story.
There are also questions to answer throughout the book that will allow you to solve problems or stregthen you story and make it more complete.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2010
I suggest you don't buy this as your first book on screenwriting, for you will risk becoming dogmatic.
Nevertheless, it is an enlighting book that will change the way you perceive stories, so it you are a somewhat educated screenwriter, this will be, not only helpful, but very fulfilling too.
It's incredible to discover the obvious simplicity of the things that make almost every story unique yet exactly the same. By this I don't mean that it presents a cookie-cutter version of writing. In fact, the author himself disencourages this at the beginning of the book. But storytelling is made of specific components, wheter we like it or not. It's the same reason why all cars are different, yet they all have 4 wheels - because that's just the best way of making them. In fact, you'll be surprised to find that, even without reading this book, anything you write subconsciously follows this formula.
You may have found Joseph's Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces and are doubting about which one to buy. You should know that Campbell's book, although it is the original, is also a lot older, and can therefore be complex, tedious and boring depending on your taste. In this book, Seger makes it accessible and enjoyable, without the loss of any essence required as a screenwriter.
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