Refining and visualizing Joseph Campbell’s “A Hero’s Journey”

Jennifer S., my good friend, valued colleague, and fellow reader and writer, responded to an item in last week’s newsletter about Joseph Campbell’s concept of “A Hero’s Journey” with this:

I enjoyed encountering the wonderful Joseph Campbell within the virtual pages of your newsletter! Campbell’s work was very eye-opening to me as a young reader, and his books (including _The Power of Myth_, the companion to that wonderful PBS series) greatly inspired me to look at the world in a new (old?) way. I later found out that my Mother-in-Law had had, in her own youth, something of an epiphany around her first encounter with Campbell — proof that I had joined up with the right family! 
More recently, I have been intrigued by the articulation of Campbell’s theory of narrative by Dan Harmon (best known as a TV scriptwriter). It’s generally called Harmon’s “Story Circle,” and I highly recommend taking a look, as it’s a wonderfully concise and cogent expression of some of the narrative archetypes. I have used Harmon’s circular revision a lot in my own writing; I suppose the visual nature appeals to my particular learning style. Here’s one article about it, but there are many dozens of websites, blogs and videos about it:
I followed Jennifer’s link and found a short article about Harmon’s work and a terrific video that visualized it. This one I highly recommend, with a large measure of gratitude directed at Jennifer. Many thanks.

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Jim Stovall, ( a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self-publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker, and beekeeper -- among other things. Subscribe to his weekly newsletter at .
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