December 16, 2018

The Heroine’s Journey—How and Why to Write Your Memoir as a Quest Story

Class dates: Tuesdays, 4 PM PST/7 PM EST (Feb 3; Feb 10; Feb 17; Feb 24)

Vector silhouette of woman.The Hero’s Journey is the most classic story structure of all times. This story arc is one we all recognize, and yet the protagonists of these tales, historically, are always men. Women’s voices have been missing from this canon of literature because until modern times women haven’t been allowed to live a life of adventure. Fortunately, we live in an era where that’s no longer true—and women not only adventure, they want to write about their adventures.

The hero’s journey is not only about adventure. It’s any experience that changes you forever, and that gives you an earned wisdom (a gift) that you want to share with the world. The modern heroine’s reward for the journey is the story she comes back with—to help others, to give voice, to let people know they don’t suffer alone, and that there’s hope and redemption on the other side. Stories that qualify as heroine’s journeys may include travels to exotic lands and soul-searching spiritual quests, but they also include stories of surviving serious illness, braving unimaginable hardships, or facing circumstances you never imagined possible like the loss of a child, or being abandoned, or raising a child with special needs.

In this course, we will be exploring how to use the arc of the heroine’s journey to both tell and to understand your own story. In this framework of understanding, you begin in the ordinary world, where you receive a call to enter an unknown world. Accepting the call, you face great challenges and obstacles, and discover mentors and helpers, spiritual or real, that help you. After making it through the challenge, you achieve a special gift. This gift may be new insights or messages, or it may turn into your calling that shapes the rest of your life. You then return to the ordinary world, and use your gift to make the world a better place.

If you can see your own story through this lens, your story is A Heroine’s Journey. We invite you to our four-week class to explore how this framework can fuel the embers of your memoir and set you on the final stages of your heroine’s journey.




Course Syllabus

Class 1. The Call to Adventure: How to Make the Heroine’s Journey Your Own
February 3 at 4pm PT/7pm ET
• Reviewing the 12 steps of the of classic hero’s journey.
• A look at the hero’s journey through the feminine lens.
• How to use the heroine’s journey as narrative arc or as structure.
• Why women writers must tell their stories, and how and why to answer the call.

Class 2. Crossing the Threshold: Embracing Your Unique Quest
February 10 at 4pm PT/7pm ET
• Understanding what your quest might be and how to frame it as a heroine’s journey (not necessarily in a literal way).
• Looking to your mentors (other women writers) for insight and guidance.
• What happens after you cross the threshold—the point of no return.
• Embracing the parallels and intersections in the story you’re writing and the life you’re living.

Class 3. The Reward: Writing as Part of the Journey
February 17 at 4pm PT/7pm ET
• Writing as the reward.
• How to think about sharing the gift of your hard-earned wisdom.
• Memoir as a process of self-discovery—how to give your all when the story is still unfolding.
• How and why to think about your readers as you’re writing.

Class 4. The Resolution: Why Transformation Is Essential in Memoir
February 24 at 4pm PT/7pm ET
• Writing through the resolution if you’re still in it.
• Coming to terms with your new sense of self and identity.
• Dealing with critics when your offering is a gift.
• Accepting the many facets of transformation, and being ready to own the new you that awaits on the other side.