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Open Right

Myke Bartlett: Twelve Steps to Story

Session Info:

  • The basics of storytelling, as identified by Joseph Campbell (with a bit of Robert McKee thrown in)
  • How this story model is as true for myths as it is for modern fiction (eg. Star Wars, Harry Potter)
  • How to plan a story

I’m passionate about the art of storytelling, in both my role as a novelist and a film critic. The session takes students through the twelve steps of the hero’s journey, showing how applicable the steps are to every kind of storytelling.

I also talk to students about how I used these steps to plan my novel, Fire in the Sea, and identify the relevant sections. Students are encouraged to identify these steps in a text of their own choosing. Students will also be given the opportunity to begin planning a story of their own, which I will workshop with them (time permitting).


  • What makes a good story?
  • What do we like?
  • What makes a disappointing story?
  • Why do we tell stories?
  • How can we tell stories?
  • The importance of planning.

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