marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The Heroine's Journey

Writers discussing the differences between the hero's journey and the heroine's.

The heroine rescues the hero all over the place:  East of the Sun, West of the Moon; The Black Bull of Norroway, the girl to rescue her brothers turned into birds, and the rest. Though one panelist was peeved that in Black Bull she had, after all she had done, to wash his shirt to prove that she was the true bride.

Contrasting Medea and Jason as a plot.  Though if you followed Euripides, it didn't end in total disaster for Medea.  (I didn't get a chance to observe at the time that that plot appears in fairy tales all the time as the Girl Helps the Hero Flee, and the Forsaken Fiancee -- which usually ends happily when she works out how to correct his amnesia, usually magically inspired.)

Girls don't go in for quests as much.  The panelists agree that the more internal and personal aspect of development tend to be more feminine.  Partly because the girls all know that growing up means pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood -- which are problems enough on their own.

The panel description talked about using such descriptions in writing, but all the panelists agreed that it's sometime you look back in retrospect, it's not a writing tool, except one who sometimes used it, and only for short stories.

As I was leaving, another woman I know was also leaving.  She observed that any symbolism should not be necessary to the tale, like in Narnia, which she had enjoyed in ignorance.  I observed that it has to be better if you fathom it, because otherwise it's dead weight and so superfluous and clogging up the story.
Tags: boskone, fairy tales, quest, world-building: reproduction, writing technique

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