This is a segment in which I showcase a good book which can improve one’s writing craft. My first is my favorite:
Joseph Campbell’s magnum opus, The Hero With 1000 Faces, is part how to guide, part psychological analysis of the universal “hero myth.” It explores the elements of the hero’s journey and how its telling is largely unchanged after all these years.
It uses a number of real world myths, religions, and dreams as case studies, then refers back to them in illustration of the elements of the monomyth.
WHY YOU SHOULD PICK IT UP:
Everyone clamors over “originality,” but there’s a reason why classics are classics: the classic format works and resonates with its audience. Campbell highlights some of the more psychological aspects of the hero myth, which goes a long way in supporting his claim that this one story is universal.
If you’re a fiction writer you need to know how to handle a hero. And Campbell can tell you how.
Now this book is not a formula—it is an in-depth analysis of the elements which make the monomyth work and an exploration of its roots in prehistory and its effect on man.
OTHER FAMOUS READERS:
Journey the videogame mirrors the hero myth to the letter and is a truly emotional game experience.
George Lucas credited a debt to Campbell upon writing the original (good) Star Wars movies.
And too many books and novels to count, like (Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings) have been shown to closely adhere to the monomyth, whether intentionally or not.