I ran across this TEDEducation video recently. It's by Matthew Winkler and it beautifully illustrates 'the hero's journey', a common and powerful myth that crops up in many classic and modern stories.
And a day later, I found a Glove And Boots video that also covers the 'monomyth', though in their own puppet-baseed manner :)
I definitely added Joseph Campbell's "Hero With A Thousand Faces" to my reading list. This is the sort of basic background I have yet to absorb despite trying my hand at amateur fiction writing. If anyone has can recommend similar books or articles I should read to compensate for my lack of creative-writing college credentials, please let me know! :)