Friday, January 27, 2006

The Woman's Journey by Shelley Bates

Okay, you guys. No fair talking about food (and spaghetti sauce in particular) when I've managed to survive two whole weeks at Curves. I've discovered that, while I'm disciplined in a whole lot of ways, exercise isn't one of them. I paid for a membership, so my left brain is forcing my unwilling body to do it!

What has this got to do with the woman's journey, you ask? Well, realizing that after 40, exercise is a necessity is a bit of a black moment of the soul, isn't it?

Anyway, I discovered a cool book recently and I have to talk about it. If you're a writer, you've probably heard of the hero's journey, with the Ordinary World and the Return with the Elixir and "Use the Force, Luke" and all that. And maybe you've scratched your head and wondered what it had to do with writing and went and watched the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice one more time.

I'd like you to meet 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. In the first half of the book, she discusses "Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters." But in the second half ... ah, the second half has something called Plotting the Feminine Journey. If you've never quite gotten the difference between the hero's Ordeal and his Resurrection some time later (how come he has to do it twice? Did he forget to ask directions the first time?) maybe these steps will resonate a little better:

Act 1: Containment
1. The Illusion of a Perfect World
2. The Betrayal or Realization
3. The Awakening - Preparing for the Journey

Act 2: Transformation
4. The Descent - Passing the Gates of Judgement
5. The Eye of the Storm
6. Death - All is Lost

Act 3: Emergence
7. Support
8. Rebirth - The Moment of Truth
9. Full Circle - Return to the Perfect World

I took one look at this and something inside me went, "Yeah! That's what I write!" Now I just have to write it, because, well, it's due in four months. Yikes!


Megan Crane said...

This is great, Shelley!


Desperate Writer said...

Ooh, that sounds FABULOUS! I'll have to put that one on my list.


Lori Wilde said...


I've had that book on the shelf for years and never looked at the back of it until just a few months ago. I got all excited and used it to write the synopsis of my current MIP and it made it so much easier. The feminine journey works so much better for romance.