Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Key

The Key

How to Write Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth

James N. Frey

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

Myths, says James N. Frey, are the basis of all storytelling, and their structures and motifs are as powerful for contemporary writers as they were for Homer.

In The Key, novelist and fiction-writing coach Frey applies his popular "Damn Good" approach to Joseph Campbell's insights into the universal structure of myths, providing a practical guide for fiction writers and screenwriters who want to shape their ideas into a powerful mythic story.


The Key

The Awesome Power of Myth
The Storyteller's Magic
As a storyteller, you practice a kind of magic, the most powerful magic on earth. You are a mythopoet, a maker of myth, and it is myth that consciously...


Praise for The Key

“You could struggle through learning the basics of storytelling by trial anbd error or you could just read this book. I wish I had this fifteen years ago.” —Sara Pariott, screenwriter for The Runaway Bride

“For me, the mythological approach has indeed been the key to creating stories that have a far greater impact on the reader than anything I'd written before.” —Tess Collins, author of The Law of Blood and The Law of Revenge

“This well-written and witty how-to [focuses] on the tradition of myth as a recipe for storytelling. Drawing from Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth, Frey explains that people respond strongly to mythic images and will essentially read the same stories over and over again; readers of romances are a good example of this concept. The first half of the book is especially interesting, for it examines the mythic structure in such diverse works as Robin Hood, Beowulf, and Jaws and looks at myths that function in everyday modern life. In the second half, Frey provides the reader with a sample novella titled 'The Blue Light' to illustrate the use of myth as a writing tool. Expect beginning writers to use this informative guide along with the author's other books.” —Library Journal

“Everything I know about plotting a novel, I learned from Frey.” —Marjorie Reynolds, author of The Starlite Drive-In

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

James N. Frey

James N. Frey is the author of the internationally bestselling How to Write a Damn Good Novel and How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II, as well as nine novels. He has taught and lectured on creative writing at several different schools and conferences throughout the U.S. and Europe.

James N. Frey

Elizabeth Frey

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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