It's been rain, rain and more rain lately which usually means no internet so I've been making good use of my time reading, asking questions, taking notes.
While some of my fellow writers were at actual workshops at actual conferences in the past couple weeks, I had to content myself with a very valuable DVD workshop in my living room. I spent the entire day yesterday studying and taking notes. RCPN was in a good place - I'm fixin (one word I would never give up if I moved) to put the notes I'd been taking about world building into my WriteItNow program where I am organizing and dropping all information on characters, settings, notes, ideas, and paranormal beings. I was literally worn out from concentrating on all the information/formula imparted therein and the ideas and solutions it generated for me.
If you haven't been lucky enough to catch Michael Hauge at a writers or screenwriters conference, you can take advantage of some powerful storytelling instruction on The DVD Hero's 2 Journey, a 3 dvd set of lectures by Michael Hauge and Chris Vogler on their versions of the Hero's Journey with a bonus CD of application to the movie, Erin Brockovich.
Hauge's workshops at RWA were called From Identiy to Essence. In both workshops Hauge talks about the identity being like the ego, what we present to the world. And essence being what we are without the masks, money, ego, fear, and excuses. If we take a character who 'says' he wants to have a specific quality and throw everything at him that challenges that, the conflicts and plot points create themselves, throwing him out of his everyday world and into a new one where he has to decide if this is what he really wants. Of course, he's our HERO, so after a few trials and backslides, he will take the bull by the horns and overcome.
This guy looks like he's refusing the call, lol.
Vogler's system which is based on Joseph Campbell's A Hero with a Thousand Faces, lines up nicely with Hauge's Six stage Method. With examples from well known movies, it doesn't seem like so much formula as an effective and proven storytelling process.
Actually, the first time I heard the Hero's Journey presented was on the 2005 RWA CD with Elaine Stirling doing her Heroine's Journey, tuned toward the romance genre. It was excellent. Her paper on the Feminine Myth is still available here.
It was well worth the extra pennies I spent on the DVDs since both Hauge and Vogler use a white board to illustrate their own version of the journey.
Have you seen any of these Journey workshops?