I have discovered a new/old archetypal model for women, and stories about women. It is an analog to the Hero's Journey, but not derivative of it- or even connected to it. It is a story structure that is just for women's stories, and a path to follow for women's empowerment. It is in every powerful story told about women from Eve and Lilith in the Bible, to June and Serena in The Handmaid's Tale. It's hard to get the word out... so I'm offering to work with a handful of people at a time to get writers familiar with the model and its structure.
You've written thousands of words. You've built a compelling world. You have a strong female protagonist. You've put her on the Hero's Journey, your story is perfect! So why is it falling flat? Why do YOU feel like it's not working??? Because the perfect story with a woman protagonist is NOT a hero or heroine. Your character is actually a divided woman on the path to sovereignty, symbolized by being cleaved, rendered, hunted, and ultimately reconnected to the pieces of herself she has had to cast off to survive. She has to unify the Divided Woman. The Divide has clear definitions, and the road to the United Queen can be codified- indeed it has been by storytellers since the first written story about the descent of Inanna 6000 years ago. Put your protagonist on the Queen's Path and your story will finally feel authentic and real. This story format is found in everything from the Bible to The Handmaid's Tale. The Divided Woman has been with us for as long as we have had patriarchal cultures. Learn more!
Every successful female-driven story follows the Queen's Path formula. If she cannot transcend embodied, the protagonist or antagonist will have a tragic end (in the third quadrant of the story wheel)- think Alex from Fatal Attraction, or Cersei Lannister and Danerys Targarian from Game of Thrones. If she does transcend embodied, she:becomes a queen, gathers her tribe around her, and owns herself and her domain. Think Celie in The Color Purple, Jenna from Waitress, Diana Prince in Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel, Arya and Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones, Sydney Bristow in Alias, Meredith Grey in Grey's Anatomy, Claire Randall in Outlander, or Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder. Every single character who becomes sovereign over herself takes possession of her gifts and owns them without apology, and without becoming small. But first she has to reckon with her own DIVIDE, and heal the RENDERING that happened to her. Learn more!