The Three Story Method Influencer Series: The Hero’s Journey
In the second of this special 5-part series, Zach and J. examine the Hero’s Journey as created by Joseph Cambpell and recreated by Christopher Vogler. They discuss how these ideas have influenced modern storytelling. In addition, Zach asks J. how he incorporated the Hero’s Journey in Three Story Method and the ways they impact novel writing.
While some may believe that we’re transitioning out of the monomyth era, it’s still important to recognize the underlying story architecture that has become second nature for most of us.
The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.
In this episode, you’ll discover:
- The way Campbell approached the Hero’s Journey
- How Vogler refined Campbell’s theory
- The difference between Campbell and Vogler
- How the 12 Stages of the Hero’s Journey can be applied to Star Wars: A New Hope
- Why the Hero’s Journey story archetype is so prevalent in modern storytelling
- How J. modeled elements of Three Story Method after the Hero’s Journey
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Leave us a comment: What questions do you have about the Hero’s Journey and Three Story Method?
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14 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 112 – The Three Story Method Influencer Series: The Hero’s Journey”
I love the Hero’s Journey (HJ) and think it is an important tool for a writer to learn, even if the writer chooses not to use it because one cannot ignore it; HJ terminology is part of the writer’s diction today.
Dig the sound effects Zach, it almost sent me back to the cinema where I first heard it…
The Virgin’s Promise sounds interesting. It’s on my booklist and my promise (smooth eh?) is that I will try and read it before the next episode.
Vogler shows a 12 stage internal character arc and links it to the 3 Act structure in the 3rd edition of his book, in the “Resurrection” chapter. It will be interesting to see if that relates to the Virgin’s Promise. Also probably worth mentioning that Vogler’s book is called “The Writer’s Journey.”
No questions this week. Although… Is it worth putting links to this series about your book in AMS ads rather than a link to a “buy my book” page? More of a long term marketing ploy.
Looking forward to next week. Great show.
Thanks! I think you’ll find the VP interesting.
My hope is that this podcast series will be helpful, and then folks will want to know more about how we use it.
OMG! Tennessee Mud Bite sounds like the title of a cozy mystery to me.
Hey – enjoying these recent episodes and looking forward to the book coming out.
Do you know of any other movie examples of the Hero’s Journey other that Star Wars?
Thanks! Yes, just about every action movie made in the last 100 years is a HJ archetype 🙂
The Wizard of Oz is a good one to study. It’s so clear, especially since she’s literally on a journey. The first Harry Potter. The scene where Hagrid magically opens the brick wall to show Diagon Alley is a great example of Crossing the Threshold. Something more recent is Coco. It follows the HJ closely and it’s visually stunning. Katniss in The Hunger Games definitely follows the HJ. With these examples it’s easy to see each step in the HJ.
Absolutely loved this episode. Deconstructing books is not one of my super powers, so I really love it when others do. Would love to see your Star Wars/Hero’s Journey breakdown in writing. Thank you both so much!
Thanks for the feedback and glad you’re loving these 😉
Great episode! J, when you recommended we listen even if we are familiar with the Hero’s Journey, I felt like you were speaking directly to me! I’ve been studying it for a long time and have read both Campbell’s and Vogler’s books multiple times. Campbell’s The Power of Myth is a good one too. 🙂 I couldn’t agree more about The Virgin’s Promise becoming more important in the future.
Zach, here’s your evidence for Luke being a pilot. When they are in Ben’s house, he says to Luke, “I understand you’ve become quite a good pilot yourself.” Ben also mentions that Luke’s father was the “best starpilot in the galaxy”, so it’s implied that Luke is too. At the end, as the fighters are approaching the Death Star one of the men says something about it. Luke says, “It’ll be just like Beggar’s Canyon back home.” Yes, I am a total nerd (but only with this movie and Empire!).
Can the Hero be “called” more than once? I agree that the hologram of Leia is the inciting incident/call to adventure. Luke is also literally called when Ben says that Luke needs to come with him to Alderaan and learn the ways of the Force. This is when Luke really refuses it, when he tells Ben he’s not going, that he has work to do.
Also, the Approach to the Inmost Cave is such a brilliant scene in this movie. We see the Millennium Falcon approaching the Death Star and the DS is so huge it totally dwarfs the ship. The Death Star is swallowing the Falcon like a giant beast. The music even swells! A great moment. I think Campbell called that stage ‘the belly of the beast.’
I’m looking forward to next week’s episode.
Great insight, Kim! Thanks for the comment.
I literally LOL’d when I read “Beggar’s Canyon.” I could almost hear that line in my head 😉
Oh, so many thoughts on Star Wars.
1 – Zach you brought up the part of Luke’s aunt and uncle getting killed and I’ve thought about that. In a way it kinda sucks because he has to accept going into the other world, he doesn’t have much choice. Yeah, there’s a little bit of going because there isn’t much left for him there. I’ve thought that maybe he came across the troopers and tried to fight them and and Obi Wan has to step in to save him. His aunt and uncle are still killed, but wonder if that type of scene would be stronger to get him to go. Would probably replace the cantina scene with Obi cutting off someone arm. Come on – really? the jedi immediately goes to cutting off arms and can’t find a better solution? (he did the same in the prequels)
2 – Through the classic trilogy, you can also say Han goes through a hero’s journey, but it’s over 3 movies instead of 1.
3 – I’ve been confused by Obi’s sacrifice to help them get away. What? If he kept fighting Vader it would keep the troopers distracted and Han and company can escape. Then I realized, no that’s not what would happen because Luke would refuse to leave and want to help and they’d be right back in detention. Obi had to die so that Luke has no reason to stay there. Took me years to realize that when I was younger.
I’m sure I can think of other items (yes, I am an uber Star Wars nerd). The thing that Star Wars did for me was open stories and world building. There are so many items in the story that make you question. I think too much today, people want handed everything and told every little nuance of the story, but it kills it. I discussed with friends for hours about this that or the other thing. Example – Obi mentions the clone wars in the first movie that came out. What else did they say? Nothing. People in that world knew the clone wars so there didn’t need to be a big discussion on it. People in our world didn’t know and it led to years of discussion and surmising. That is excellent! It made us creative and got us talking and kept the story alive in our minds. for years. I wish more stories had ‘holes’ like that in it that you could expand on later.
“Through the classic trilogy, you can also say Han goes through a hero’s journey, but it’s over 3 movies instead of 1.” Great observation!
I agree wholeheartedly on your last point. That mystery of the world was something the first 3 movies did so well.