Tagged heroine’s journey

Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

My very first nonfiction book is out in the world! Although, I shoudl add it is very much OF this world.

This is, I have to say, more nerve wracking than fiction. Anyway, I hope if you’re intersted in why you enjoy my books and comforting books like them, you’ll give this a try.

The Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers and Fans of Pop Culture offers up an alternate model of story telling to the Hero’s Journey that applies to books, TV, movies, and much more. I designed this book to give you a foundation, history, and guided step-by-step process to understanding the Heroine’s Journey. It will train your eye to spot it, but also how to write it, or fix your story with it. Also it explains why it’s so critically disenfranchised.

You can see why it took a whole book?Heroines Journey Gail Carriger free pdf ripped download

Anyway, the content laid out so you can skip to whatever part is most relevant you and your desires. But it’s also a fun read cover-to-cover.

So as it’s already an informative book, what extras could I offer? Here’s what I came up with:

Special Extras!

Quick Pull: Online References

Primary & Main Sources

“Women don’t need to make the journey. In the whole mythological journey, the woman is there. All she has to do is realize that she’s the place people are trying to get to.” [source]

Articles

These are all in the citations section of the book. In the text I used redirects as the best option for this so they would be short and easy to type out of the print edition, and so that if the site of origin went down, I could find a new link relatively quickly.

Praise Quotes

Heroine's Journey Review Quote Twitter

“The first book on writing structure that’s ever truly resonated for me and made sense of the way my favorite stories work. I’ve thought back to this book so many times since reading it, and I know I’ll be reading it again!”

~ Stephanie Burgis, Author of The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart

“A lot of educators are going to be very interested in this. The heroine’s journey narrative structure aligns with positive parenting and the anti-bullying programs’ goals and techniques. Their preferred stories emphasize team building and non violent conflict resolution. Understanding that this is a long standing historical and culturally relevant narrative structure will help them find more stories that resonate with their programs, and help defend the programs from more patriarchal critics. ”

~ Janis Wright

“Okay, look…I’m not sure how you can just rewire my brain to see the heorine’s jouney like this and then expect me to make coherent, thought-out comments about the text when all I want to do is hold it in my twisted little grip while I shove it at people screaming like a madman and pointing at passages, but I guess that’s what I’m going to do. ”

~ Author Beta Reader

“I knew that my stories didn’t neatly fit the mold of the Hero’s Journey, but it wasn’t until I read this excellent resource on the Heroine’s Journey by Gail Carriger that I finally understood why. Now I understand not only how to reliably write in this form, but also how to better position my stories for readers and agents. ”

~ Ethan Freckleton, Author & Host of The Fearless Storyteller podcast

The Heroine’s Journey by Gail Carriger is a game changer for genre fiction. Using dozens of examples from books and movies, Ms Carriger carefully and convincingly divides these into two distinct story camps based on the character arc of their protagonists: the lone wolf and the team player.”

~ The Blood-Red Pencil

Yours,

Miss Gail

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Sample That Tasty Book: The Heroine’s Journey Table of Contents & Introduction

Posted by Gail Carriger

Dearest Gentle Reader,

Those of you who know me well, know that I like to give out a sample of forthcoming books to tempt readers’ appetites. Nonfiction is a pretty alien beast for me, but I still thought you might like a look-see.

Heroines Journey TOC Introduction

So here, without further ado is the Table of Contents of The Heroine’s Journey. Sample follows.

(I am reliably informed that the TOC is Very Important when one is writing nonfiction.)

The Heroine’s Journey TOC

Introduction

CHAPTER 1: APPROACH

  • Why did I bother?
  • Why should you bother?
  • Pop culture is a weakness

CHAPTER 2: DEFINING TERMS

  • It’s all about sex & gender
  • Read this bit!
  • Writing terms & terminology

CHAPTER 3: HERO’S JOURNEY BEATS, THEMES, & MESSAGES

  • Things to notice
  • Hero’s Journey example 1: Wonder Woman
  • Hero’s Journey example 2: Star Wars
  • Additional examples of the hero
  • Hero’s Journey hidden messages
  • Hero’s Journey narrative structure

CHAPTER 4: BASIC STRUCTURE & FOUNDATIONAL MYTHS

  • The Myth of Demeter
  • The Myth of Isis
  • The Myth of Inanna

CHAPTER 5: HEROINE’S JOURNEY BEATS, THEMES, & MESSAGES

  • Notation of absence
  • Things to notice
  • Heroine’s Journey example 1: Harry Potter
  • Heroine’s Journey example 2: Twilight
  • Additional examples of the Heroine
  • Heroine’s Journey hidden messages

CHAPTER 6: HEROINE’S JOURNEY GETS DEVALUED

  • Heroine’s Journey out of focus
  • Hero’s Journey in focus
  • Repercussions of being devalued
  • Why did this happen?
  • Also, blame Gothics

CHAPTER 7: GENRE COMPLICATIONS

  • Gothic archetypes & the Heroine
  • Gothic tropes & the Heroine
  • Gothic side effects

CHAPTER 8: NARRATIVE VARIATIONS

  • Tragic journeys
  • Additional narrative elements
  • Whose journey is this?
  • Buddies & sidekicks
  • Foils & dualities
  • Multiple POV narratives

CHAPTER 9: READER EXPERIENCE

  • Reader expectations
  • Emotional hooks & writer’s block
  • Avoiding reader betrayal

CHAPTER 10: HOW TO WRITE LIKE A HEROINE

  1. Give your heroine companions
  2. Define & join a group
  3. Write appropriate villains
  4. Put side characters in power
  5. Dialogue is your friend
  6. Let help be a strength
  7. Portion out achievement
  8. Give your characters humor
  9. Use Gothic tropes to indicate genre
  10. Use Gothic archetypes to surprise readers
  11. A counseling session
  12. Be the heroine

Epilogue

Citations & References

Heroines Journey Gail Carriger free pdf ripped download

The Heroine’s Journey Introduction

The Heroine’s Journey is a separate narrative structure from the Hero’s Journey. It exists. It has always existed. It is not derivative of, nor sourced in, the Hero’s Journey. I thought, for a really long time, that everyone knew this.

I was wrong.

Which is how I (a fiction writer) have ended up writing this nonfiction book.

They say that the oldest trick for nonfiction is threefold:

1. Tell them what you’re doing.

2. Do it.

3. Tell them what you did.

Truth? Exactly the same thing works for dirty talk, if you’re writing a sex scene… or just in life. (See what I did there? Now you know what kind of book this is.)

So I shall tell you, right up front, the basics of the Heroine’s Journey and how it compares to the Hero’s Journey. Then I’ll provide evidence for those basics using ancient myth and modern pop culture. Then I’ll break them all down so you can use them yourself. Finally, I’ll remind you of what I told you from the get-go. Knowledge: the best kind of dirty talk.

To get us started on the right path, so to speak:

Here is the Hero’s Journey in one pithy sentence:

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

Here is the Heroine’s Journey in one pithy sentence:

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

Don’t worry, more (considerably less flippant) definitions of both of these are yet to come.

However, I have been told not to be coy and to just lay it out there for you from the beginning.

Consider it laid.   

~~~

Essentially the Heroine’s Journey is different from the Hero’s Journey in five significant storytelling ways (also known as the Five Key Ingredients):

1. Purpose

The goal or focus of the journey is different. A hero is usually concerned with defeating an enemy or retrieving a boon of great import – think classic video game quests.

A heroine is looking for reunification with someone who was taken from her. She is concerned with networking, connecting with others, and finding family.

2. Approach

A hero acts on the offensive most of the time. He is active in his pursuit of his goal and will kill or (in the case of Odysseus) trick his way to victory. His enemy is stasis.

A heroine goes about achieving her goals through communication and information gathering. She is not a conqueror. She is a builder and a general – she sees the skills and strengths in others and knows how best to apply them. She is a delegator, which is great for storytellers because it’s easy to build vibrant, supportive, extremely appealing side characters. Also, this humanizes the protagonist, who is self-aware enough to know what she is good at and when someone else can do it better.

Her enemy is loneliness or isolation.

3. Strength

A heroine’s definition of strength is materially different from that of the hero. A hero must eventually go it alone; the journey usually climaxes with a one-on-one defeat of his enemy. For him, asking for help is a sign of weakness. He must shed the restrictions of civilization and family in order to succeed on his own.

A heroine is the opposite. Requesting aid is a sign of strength. It does not diminish a heroine to seek and receive assistance on her journey. In fact, the more companions she has, the stronger she is.

(And if that concept makes you wince, perhaps you might consider your own personal definition of what strength means and how the narratives around you have influenced that.)

4. Power

As a result of all the above, when a heroine has her most powerful narrative and iconic moments, these will occur with others. They are usually characterized by intense communication and unity in the context of sex, romance, friendship, or familial relationships.

When the hero is at his most powerful, he is alone, because his quest is one of self-reliance and solitary achievement against overwhelming odds. His iconic moments will be ones of intellectual or physical superiority over someone else.

5. Ending

A hero, because of his need to self-isolate, has sacrificed too much for his goal, so the end of his journey is bittersweet. Iconography often depicts him alone, with the slow pan-out sequence and a sense of profound pathos. He has either grown too powerful to fit back into the world he has saved, or he has changed too much into a solo version of himself and can no longer exist in a group.

Poignancy typifies the end of a heroic narrative – lonely death, hard drinking, a hermit’s existence.

The heroine is more likely to get a happy ending, surrounded by friends and family, with an implication of continued safety.

~ ~ ~

Follow-ups to the Five Key Ingredients

The above are some broad brush strokes, but I’m giving you the essentials before we tunnel into specifics. In other words, these are the five explanations I trot out at cocktail parties. (Yes, I go to the type of gatherings where we chat about the Heroine’s Journey.)

One important note:

Biological sex characteristics are irrelevant to whether a main character is a hero or a heroine.

In other words, women, female-identified, and nonbinary characters can be heroes. Men, male-identified, and nonbinary characters can be heroines.

And one note of caution:

We humans have a tendency (once we know the two different journeys) to want to pigeonhole and fit every story we encounter into one model or the other. We like the binary; it’s simple and fun. Things are rarely that black and white – for readers or creators.

~ ~ ~

My idea is to teach storytellers a basic understanding of the two models, so you learn when to obey the narrative beats and when to break them, in order to better manage reader expectations.

Similarly, I hope to educate the consumers of such stories, so they can better understand their own desires.

Please, try not to use these two journeys to pigeonhole every piece of pop culture you encounter. Therein lies madness.

Yes, many stories do fit into one journey or the other, but not all of them (I’m looking at you, Black Panther, 2018). I’ll be talking about the havoc that swapped point of view narratives, buddy dramas, and ensemble casts can play with fitting comfortably into one or the other journey later on in this book.

To be clear, you’ve read the Heroine’s Journey in its many forms before. You’ve watched it. You just might not have realized that. More fascinating, perhaps? There’s a good chance that you love it, even yearn for more.

I intend to show you how to activate your own version of this narrative, whether as a writer of fiction, scripts, and games; as a parent thoughtfully choosing books for a child; or as a reader trying to better understand your own tastes and preferences.

This book will leave you with a solid working knowledge of how to read, identify, and understand what makes a Heroine’s Journey, and from there, how to write a good one.

Heroine's Journey Box Ad 1 Shadow Yellow

Find this book on your vendor of choice! or Direct from me

Miss Gail

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BOOK DE JOUR!

The Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture

Heroines Journey Gail Carriger free pdf ripped download

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My first non-fiction book! How to use ancient story structure to understand and crack bestselling genre fiction.

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Heroine’s Journey Cover Art

Posted by Gail Carriger

Something different today, Gentle Reader!

A little while ago I released the Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture for preorder.

Shall we talk about the cover? This time nonfiction?

The thing about covers is they need to do a ton of work for a book.

A fiction cover needs to signal genre, tone, voice, and author brand, as well as be appealing to the right reader. I talk a lot about fiction covers here.

Nonfiction covers need to do something different. They need to indicate what question they are answering, mood, style of approach, and subject matter.

Heroines Journey Gail Carriger free pdf ripped download

Despite the fact that Starla doesn’t normally do nonfiction, she agreed to work with me on this one, partly for the challenge of it.

Prior to reaching out to her I did a TON of research looking at comparative titles and trends in non-fiction in all the nonfiction categories I though this book would satisfy. Here’s a sample of three of those categories:

Okay, while I was doing that I also looked at price points and color profiles and other exciting things (spreadsheet time!)

Starla and I came up with two possible images for the covers and put those to a private vote on various different private online forums, this one was by far the winner:

The Image

I wanted an image that was evocative of both ancient, feminine, and journey. I’ve been collecting inspirational images on Pinterest for a while now. (Starla and I usually start of with a shared private Pinterest board.)

We started with a path instead of stairs, but that looked a bit too snake-like (and I don’t talk about Medusa in this book) so we went to a spiral staircase instead.

I’m generally a big fan of the spiral stair. I had one in my old office, and I always take pictures of them when I encounter them in the wild.

Starla applied and ancient stone treatment to the stair and the face.

In the final cover, I had the image shifted up and around in order to accommodate and centralize the title treatment and to show the neck and collar bone – as an indication of openness.

The Title Treatment

I chose a sans serif soft rounded font for the title.

  • San serif because this is nonfiction and for visual clarity when in thumbnail view.
  • Rounded for the circularity of the journey.

Also this kind of font and treatment is common in older pop culture posters and comic books. I wanted to indicate the pop-y nature of my discussions, subject matter, as well as the lightness of tone in the writing style. (Read: NOT academic or dry.)

Heroine's Journey Box Ad 1 Shadow Yellow

The Color

The yellow color was the most contentious part of this cover.

Some of my dearest friends strongly objected to the yellow. Frankly, I don’t consider myself a yellow person either.

However, it was the best option by far. Why?

  • Yellow on black is very popular in How To books and writing guides.
  • I liked the cheerfulness of yellow juxtaposed against the moodiness of the image.
  • Orange looked too Halloween.
  • Red on black is hard on the eyes, and kinda “bloody.”
  • Pink made this look too much like women’s fiction.
  • Green is uncommon in any of the non-fiction topics/subjects/categories I wanted to hit.
  • Blue made this look too much like a memoir.
  • Purple almost won, but again it’s really uncommon in nonfiction of the type, and it didn’t carry the happy/upbeat aspect I wanted.

HJ Heroines Journey ARC Couch

So there it is, that’s how we ended up with this cover. Lots of other things were considered like how it looks in black and white. Also the spacing of the fonts on the cover, the font of the sub-headers, and the placement of all the different elements on the page.

Starla was very patient with me it took about 3x longer than normal.

Luckily, I love this kinda thing and I think we ended up with a pretty fantastic cover.

Yours,

Miss Gail

  • Did you miss the release announcement and exclusive pre-order deal for this book? This kind of thing goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
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Heroine’s Journey is Up for Preorder

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Something different today, Gentle Reader!

A little while ago I released the Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture to my newsletter, the Chirrup. And then quietly posted it online for preorder.

COMING OCTOBER 1, 2020

Since I was already working on getting The Enforcer Enigma published, I was pretty quiet about this.

Anyway so here it is, officially coming out into the world.

Heroines Journey Gail Carriger free pdf ripped download

Cover by Starla of Designed by Starla.

Preorder digital from you vendor of choice!

GIMME!

Or buy directly from me:

.mobi (Amazon Kindle) | .epub (everyone else)

Will there be PRINT? YES! Where is it?

Will there be AUDIO? YES! Where is it?

Here’s the listing description:

BLURB

  • Tired of the hero’s journey?
  • Frustrated that funny, romantic, and comforting stories aren’t taken seriously?
  • Sad that the books and movies you love never seem to be critically acclaimed, even when they sell like crazy?

The heroine’s journey is here to help.

Multiple New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger presents a clear, concise analysis of the heroine’s journey, how it differs from the hero’s journey, and how you can use it to improve your writing and your life.

In this book you’ll learn:

  • How to spot the heroine’s journey in popular books, movies, and the world around you.
  • The source myths and basic characters, tropes, and archetypes of this narrative.
  • A step-by-step break down of how to successfully write this journey.
  • What do Agatha Christie, JK Rowling, and Nora Roberts all have in common?
    They all write the heroine’s journey. Read this book to learn all about it.

From Harry Potter to Twilight, from Wonder Woman to Star Wars, you’ll never look at pop culture the same way again.

With over a dozen NYT and USA Today bestsellers, and over a million books in print, popular genre author and former archaeologist Gail Carriger brings her cheeky comedic tone and over a decade of making her living as a fiction author to this fascinating look at one of the most popular yet neglected narratives of our time. The presentation she does on this subject sells for hundreds of dollars.

“I’m not sure how you can just rewire my brain to see the heroine’s journey like this and then expect me to make coherent, thought-out comments about the text when all I want to do is hold it in my twisted little grip while I shove it at people screaming like a madman and pointing at passages.”
~ Author Beta Reader

Gail Carriger uses the heroine’s journey to produce bestselling, critically-acclaimed books that genre blend science fiction, cozy mystery, young adult, urban fantasy, romance, historical fiction, and alternate history. In this non-fiction book she uses her academic background and creative writing skills to bring to life the archetypes, tropes, story beats, themes, and messages inherent in the heroine’s journey. Part treatise on authorship, part feminist literary criticism, part how to write guide, Carriger uses mythology, legend, and Gothic victorian 19th century literature to explore movies, screenwriting, books, and audience desires.

This is an excellent reference guide for genre fiction authors seeking to improve their craft or for readers and pop culture enthusiasts interested in understanding their own taste. It is the perfect counterpoint to The Hero with a Thousand Faces not to mention Save the Cat, Women Who Run With The Wolves, and The Breakout Novelist.

BACK COVER

Here’s the working back cover copy for the eventual print edition:

What is the heroine’s journey? How is it different from the hero’s journey? What makes Harry Potter different from Star WarsTwilight from Wonder Woman?

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gail Carriger uses her comedic style to explore the mythological foundation of one of the most joyful and powerful narrative structures we have access to as storytellers. She teaches you to identify, write, and utilize the heroine’s journey to recover from writer’s block.

FIX YOUR STORY

Explore hidden messages. Learn hacks and tips to improve your writing and make it more commercially viable. Gain insight into under-studied story arcs, tropes, characters, archetypes, and modern market desires.

CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE

Guaranteed to make you look at plot structure in books, video games, movies, and TV differently for the rest of your life.

Take control of narrative while redefining notions of strength and identity. This book will change how you write, read, watch, interact, and think about genre fiction and the world around you.

Heroines Journey Gail Carriger free pdf ripped download

I’ll talk more in an upcoming blog post about how we came up with this cover. It was a fun and fascinating process.

QUOTES

And finally here are some early pull quotes from my first readers.

“The first book on writing structure that’s ever truly resonated for me and made sense of the way my favorite stories work. I’ve thought back to this book so many times since reading it, and I know I’ll be reading it again!”

~ Stephanie Burgis
Author of The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart

“A lot of educators are going to be very interested in this. The heroine’s journey narrative structure aligns with positive parenting and the anti-bullying programs’ goals and techniques. Their preferred stories emphasize team building and non violent conflict resolution. Understanding that this is a long standing historical and culturally relevant narrative structure will help them find more stories that resonate with their programs, and help defend the programs from more patriarchal critics. ”

~ Janis Wright

“Okay, look…I’m not sure how you can just rewire my brain to see the heorine’s jouney like this and then expect me to make coherent, thought-out comments about the text when all I want to do is hold it in my twisted little grip while I shove it at people screaming like a madman and pointing at passages, but I guess that’s what I’m going to do. ”

~ Author Beta Reader

“I knew that my stories didn’t neatly fit the mold of the Hero’s Journey, but it wasn’t until I read this excellent resource on the Heroine’s Journey by Gail Carriger that I finally understood why. Now I understand not only how to reliably write in this form, but also how to better position my stories for readers and agents. ”

~ Ethan Freckleton
Author & Host of The Fearless Storyteller podcast

Righty’o, that’s all for now!

Yours,

Miss Gail

  • Did you miss my latest release announcement? Want more sneak peeks, free goodies, gossip, behind the scenes info? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

BOOK DE JOUR!

The Enforcer Enigma, third the in San Andreas Shifters series.

TEE Enforcer Enigma SAS3 eBook

PICK YOUR VENDOR!

Direct from me?

A werewolf without rank or hope and an enforcer who has lived too long go up against the selkie mob.

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Hidden Pages says of How to Marry A Werewolf:

“Overall this is a must read for fans of the Parasol Protectorate universe. I would especially recommend this if you enjoyed Major Channing as a character in those books and would like to learn more about him. Carriger writes wonderful steampunk romance that is full of quirky humor and is an absolute joy to read. I can’t wait for more books in this series!”

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AB: A town in Oregon has voted to name a park “Exploding Whale Park.”

Gail: Have we learned nothing from Boaty McBoatface?

Oh no, here we go again.


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