The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

the Hero's Journey and the Swain Models

We've looked at the Hero's Journey, and at two simple models by Dwight Swain.  You would be well served to compare them.  Taken together, they are saying the same thing, they are different maps of the same territory.  and that is the crux of what we will do here.  I've come to the conclusion that it is impossible to directly state the truth of human existance, or the path to growth, or even the path to being a great or successful artist.  But it IS possible to dance around it.  It's like you can take the best photos and maps of a mountain, paint the best paintings, sketch the best sketches...but none of them are the mountain, and only climbing the mountain will give you the experience of climbing the mountain.
By ranging through the best maps the world culture has created for examining our existence--and the process of creating a healthy, vibrant physical body, and finding love, and achieving excellence--those of you who will take this journey with me will begin to glimpse the truth obscured by cultural prejudices and traditional belief systems.  THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY.  No matter how good it is, there are limitations. I can give you all the writing patterns ever devised, and writing that first book will still be a bitch kitty.  But I can help you apply different maps to different writing exercises--each one being a short story.  In that way, your learning curve is maxed out, guys.

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