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Challenges in the Hero and Myth

I grew up devouring books on mythology. I think that's part of the reason I always loved writing, and writing fantasy especially. Stories of shapeshifter, gods, and magic always fascinated me and whenever I write, I find I'm often influenced by folktales and fairytales I read when I was a child.

I finished reading Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth and Hero of a Thousand Faces a few months ago, and today I attended a workshop on The Hero's Journey.

hero's journey

Regardless of whether you have one novel, five, or even ten under your belt, I think it's so helpful to review the seeds of a story from time to time. Joseph Campbell's mythic structure is a great way to organize a story idea, especially when you're starting out or feeling stuck.

There's something so satisfying about the structure -- about taking your reader with you on an adventure, overcoming an obstacle, then bringing it all to a close. It's no surprise that tons of movies fit the mold of The Hero's Journey. IMDb's even compiled a list.

Yet the contrarian in me is intrigued that I can see that most of my books do follow The Hero's Journey. So I'm going to challenge myself and try to drift off the path a little.


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