College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing


Timothy Shea


Creative Writing, Hero's Journey, Joseph Campbell, Christopher Vogler


Creative Writing


Chapter 1 Review: This chapter outlines the artist’s statement on his motivation behind the project. This presents a history of engagement with the fantasy medium with the artist and how the fantasy genre has inspired him throughout his childhood and into his adult life. The artist discusses his fascination with the genre and how fantasy provides a safe medium which allows for people to engage in difficult and testing experiences in a setting which they can learn empathy. Chapter 2 Review: This chapter details Joseph Campbell’s Monomythic structure in the form of the Hero’s Journey before engaging with how Christopher Vogler modified Campbell’s original work into a 12-point structure for screenwriters and authors to follow. Upon laying the framework for the Hero’s Journey, the first films of Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter are all tested against the structure Vogler presented. After establishing the Hero’s Journey is followed in these movies, critical and academic analysis of the Hero’s Journey is considered before concluding that changing the Hero’s Journey structure by removing certain elements which some of academia deems offensive removes critical aspects of proper storytelling. Chapter 3 Review: This chapter outlines an original story that follows the first act of the Hero’s Journey through practical form following the storytelling elements expected based on Campbell’s and Vogler’s structure.