The Heroine’s Journey: The Story Structure You Never Heard Of

The Heroine’s Journey: The Story Structure You Never Heard Of

The Hero’s Journey is the the story structure of the lone hero’s struggle to defeat a great evil and be changed by the adventure. In his classic book The Hero with a Thousand FacesJoseph Campbell noticed this pattern in ancient myths and legends. His premise is that the Hero’s Journey is repeated over and over in stories from Odysseus to our present day summer blockbusters. Many story analysts believe that every story is a Hero’s Journey, following the same basic beats. Christopher Vogler in The Writer’s Journey, took the Hero’s Journey a step further, showing how it works in modern genres from the western to romance. But while the Hero’s Journey continues to be the bones of many stories, there are plenty of stories that do not quite fit the mold.

This is where Gail Carriger and her story structure of The Heroine’s Journey step in. Gail writes comedic steampunk fantasy and is one of my favorite authors. She is also a genius about writing structure, genre, and tropes. In her book, she explains how the Heroine’s Journey differs from the Hero’s Journey and why both perspectives are significant.

Before we get into how the journeys are different, it is important to explain that the Hero and Heroine’s Journeys have nothing to do with the gender of the protagonists. Instead, whether your story is a Hero or Heroine Journey has to do with how your protagonists approach their adventure. In other words, men can go on Heroines’ Journeys and women can go on Heroes’ Journeys.

From the book:

The Hero’s Journey in one pithy sentence:

Increasingly isolated protagonist stomps around prodding evil with pointy bits, eventually fatally prods baddie, gains glory & honor

The Heroine’s Journey in one pithy sentence:

Increasingly networked protagonist strides around with good friends, prodding them and others on to victory, together.

The Heroine’s Journey is different from the Hero’s Journey in five significant ways:

1. Purpose

The hero goes on his journey to defeat an enemy or find a treasure or both.

The heroine is concerned with networking with others and finding a family.

2. Approach

A hero is active in pursuit of his goal.

A heroine is a builder and a general. She sees skills and strengths in others and knows how to use them.

3. Strength

A hero must eventually go it alone. Asking for help is a sign of weakness.

A heroine is stronger the more companions she has.

4. Power

When a hero is at his most powerful in his adventure, usually fighting the bad guy, he is alone.

When a heroine has her most powerful moments in her adventure, she is with others.

5. Ending

A hero ends up alone. He has either grown too powerful or changed too much to fit back into the ordinary world.

The heroine gets a happy ending, surrounded by friends and family.

There is a lot to unpack here. In the book there is more detail including the mythic origins of the Heroine’s Journey, contemporary examples of both journeys, and tips on how to write the Heroine’s Journey. I am excited to have this new structure in my story toolbox and I hope you are too!


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Robert’s Rules of Order in Action: How to Participate in Meetings with Confidence by Randi Minetor

Robert’s Rules of Order in Action: How to Participate in Meetings with Confidence by Randi Minetor

I’ve always known that Robert’s Rules of Order are used to run a meeting, but I never thought about what that meant until a couple of weeks ago when I went to my first HOA meeting, which was a train wreck. It started with an invitation to the meeting in a giant office building with no mention of the room number and went downhill into hostility, eye rolling, and name calling. So I am boning up on Robert’s Rules of Order to be prepared not only for the next HOA meeting, but also other club meetings.

So what are Robert’s Rules of Order

They are a group of rules that were written in 1876 by Brigadier General Henry Robert III, after he was asked to run a meeting at his church and failed miserably. What Robert did, was to simplify the parliamentary rules that were used in the British Parliament, and those rules date all the way back to the ancient Greeks. These are rules about how to run a meeting, how to have debates, how to accomplish business, and how to get to keep things moving, all without resorting to name calling and letting everybody have a chance to speak. They are used in everything from the United States Congress to school board meetings and club meetings. Understanding Robert’s Rules of Order is a great thing to have in your arsenal when you’re going to a meeting and in your general life knowledge. What I like about this book is that it boils down Robert’s Rules of Order and shows real life examples of how they’re used. And it is short so you can read it in an afternoon. I will keep you posted on how the next HOA meeting goes. But in the meantime, I encourage anybody that’s involved in a club or attending any meeting planning to speak, to go knowing how to use the Rules. Now more than ever we need to know how to speak out and listen to others in the right way.

From the book: Robert’s Rules of Order can be relied on to establish a baseline of decorum, as well as a process for bringing issues to the floor, holding debate, and coming to a vote. Robert sets out not only basic principles involved in holding and running a productive meeting, but also the procedures that allow group members to make decisions and move forward.  These principles and procedures let every member of the group be heard, propose ideas, and have his or her ideas and input treated fairly and respectfully.  They also establish a procedure for selecting leaders, determining the size of a majority, and protecting the rights of the minority.

Fun Fact: There have been twelve editions of Robert’s Rules of Order. The most recent one was published in 2020.

Robert’s Rules Reading List

  1. Robert’s Rules of Order in Action by Randi Minetor
  2. Robert’s Rules of Order in Brief
  3. Robert’s Rules of Order, 12th Edition