Review: The Heroine's Journey
Sunday, August 15, 2021

The Heroine's JourneyThe Heroine's Journey by Gail Carriger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gail Carriger's The Heroine's Journey was an interesting exploration of the practical, philosophical, and cultural aspects of storytelling. I won't go in-depth on the content -- that's what the book is for after all -- but I will say that it gave me a good deal to think about. The writing itself was easy to follow. Carriger's voice is witty and entertaining, as fans of her fiction can attest, so even the driest sections were not difficult to get through.

There were many aspects of the Heroine's Journey that Carriger touched on that resonated with my own work -- often scenes that I could never get to fit quite comfortably into the Hero's Journey framework. I can now see how the main character of my Magicsmith series started out with a bit of a hero complex (thinking dependence on others was a weakness that would ultimately harm her), but over the course of her adventures shrugged off that mantel to embrace the heroine that was always inside her (finding support and strength from loyal friends and found family). I don't think I write pure Heroine's Journey or pure Hero's Journey, but a solid foundational understanding of both will help me write from a place of intent rather than relying on intuition and happy accidents.

I highly recommend this book to authors looking to expand their storytelling toolkit and media-consumers who'd like to take a philosophical look at how the stories we tell and absorb affect our worldview.

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