Books and Myths to Inspire Your Writing

I've always enjoyed classical mythology. The archetypes speak to me as they have to millions of people throughout the centuries. Edith Hamilton and her book Mythology was my first introduction into the classic stories of man verses god and sometimes himself. In college, I discovered Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces and how mythic images are still with us today. I recently picked up The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By by Carol Pearson to help me with character and story development.

If you aren't familiar with Joseph Campbell's work and want a quick introduction, then I'd recommend Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion edited by Diane K. Osborn. It is a beautifully compiled series of his lectures and thoughts on mythic subjects and how they still influence and inspire us. It also provides a good introduction into the concept of the hero’s journey and examples of its continued use in modern novels and movies. Watch Star Wars to see the hero's journey in action. Understanding the hero's journey can help you better understand plotting and story development.

In regards to writing and how mythic imagery still influences storytellers, my two favorite books are The Writer’s Journey and The Artist’s WayThe Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler was one of the first writing books that I read. The plotting techniques are great for helping me create both simple and complex stories and characters that appeal to a wide range of people. His use of common films like The Wizard of Oz to illustrate his points makes it a very accessible book. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron is an excellent book that appeals to my mythological side while offering some great writing techniques for inspiring the muse. Her method of daily journaling helps keep writer's block at bay and to keep the creative juices flowing. It's an excellent book for those looking to unlock their creativity or for those just starting as writers. Through the book's exercises, emerging writers learn about themselves and their process while developing the daily habits necessary to becoming successful.

I hope you check out some of these great writing resources, and that they help you on your own path to writing just like they helped me.

Check out my books because if you like to write then you must love to read


Teresa B said...

Thank you for the book suggestions, and for sharing them at The Really Crafty Link Party this week! I'm definitely going to check them out!

Sim Carter said...

I remember reading Julia Cameron’s book and working the writers way program years ago! Worth another look I’m sure.
Here's my British Isles Friday post

Laurie C said...

I never liked mythology or fairy tales much as a kid! I always wanted more character development, I realized much later. ;) I always meant to read something by Joseph Campbell, though, and still haven't, and the same goes for Julia Cameron!

Raising Samuels said...

Thank you for sharing these books and writing resources with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week :)

Tanya @ Moms Small Victories said...

These are great suggestions, I can use all the help I can get in improving my writing and my son and I have a soft spot for mythology. Thanks for sharing with #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup. Pinning to our linkup board.

Ashleigh said...

Thank you for sharing on Peace, Love, Link-up! Our next party is Friday at 6. I hope to see you there!