Practical Blawgosphere, Scavenging Department


South Carolina criminal-defense lawyer Bobby G. Frederick gives us a few thoughts on Christopher Vogler’s The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers:

Although the book is geared towards screenwriters, novelists, and storytellers, I would say it should be required reading for any trial attorney as well. The single most important thing that we can do for our clients is to be effective in telling their story, whether it is to the prosecutor, the judge, or especially to the jury, and this book gives some powerful insight into what makes for an effective presentation.

The basic premise is that “all stories consist of a few common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams, and movies. They are known collectively as the Hero’s Journey.” The author draws on the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell (The Hero of a Thousand Faces) and psychologist Carl Jung, finding that repeating characters or energies called archetypes appear throughout our dreams and throughout the myths and stories of cultures across the world, that these patterns spring from a collective unconscious of the human race, and that when used effectively they can tap into human emotion in a profound way.

While Bobby doesn’t refer to what he’s doing as “scavenging”, this is exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve ordered the book.

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0 responses to “Practical Blawgosphere, Scavenging Department”

  1. Along these lines, I’ve heard that the ideas in Robert McKee’s scriptwriting book Story (which has a cult-like following in some circles) can be usefully adapted by anyone whose job involves storytelling.

  2. I haven’t read it yet, but I think that Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces will be insightful as well.

    Vogler was building on Campbell’s ideas, and says that Campbell’s book includes many examples of myths and parables. I’m always looking for short stories that can be adapted for openings and closing argument.

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