You are in the middle of novel, you dive deep into the plot with a character you care about, worry about, maybe even fantasize about and you carry that book around rife with the anticipation of opening page after page to more scenes, more succulent words to bring you deeper, closer to the resolution you (and that character) long for.
You hear your stop coming up, and you leave the book on the train. Didn’t it feel like you left somebody on the train?
No matter who is the main character in your novel, the symbols of your own life and experience come through. The same positive and negative extremes you apply to your own ethics and morals will be the ones your characters embrace. It is as inevitable as what you see in the mirror. That’s why the hero’s journey is more than a model for writing; it’s a model for life. A reflection of life. And because of that it breathes life into your writing.
Joseph Campbell studied and taught religion and mythology for decades and his remarkable book, The Hero of a Thousand Faces is the basis for what writers and psychologists call the hero’s journey. Campbell recognized the commonality of all myths no matter where in the world they originated. There is universal phenomenon of any story that follows the hero’s journey.
It’s the book we can’t leave behind.