For those of us who’ve been around the writing block for any length of time and read books on the craft, it’s very exciting when you discover a book that takes a completely fresh approach and makes you look at ‘story’ in a whole new way.
Which is exactly what Kim Hudson does in her book The Virgin’s Promise. Deciding that the twelve steps of The Hero’s Journey didn’t quite work for her, she spent five years researching and watching movies before completing The Virgin’s Promise.
There are three main sections to her book: The difference between Myths and Fairytales; The Twelve Archetypes; The Thirteen Stages of the Virgin’s Journey.
In essence, myths are about self-sacrifice while fairy tales are about self-fulfillment. Myths follow the 12 steps of The Hero’s Journey while fairytales follow the 13 steps of the Virgin’s Journey. But don’t start thinking that one is purely male and the other female. Rocky, that iconic movie of the 70s, follows the virgin’s path, rather than that of the hero.
FAIRYTALES: (The Virgin’s Journey)
Centered on self-worth and self-hood.
They answer the protagonist’s questions: Who do I know myself to be? What do I want to do in the world, separate from what everyone else wants of me?
They can be casual, every day events that take place in the domestic realm.
They are a journey towards psychological independence.
It is a PULL towards a joy that drives the character’s transformation.
They are a journey to SELF-FULLFILMENT
MYTHS: (The Hero’s Journey)
Centre around obligation.
They answer the hero’s question: Could I survive in the greater world or am I to forever cling to the nurturing world of my mother for fear or death.
They are a journey of physical independence.
The hero usually leaves his community or ‘kingdom’
The hero is transformed by a need to conquer fear
They are tales of SELF-SACRIFICE.
THE VIRGIN: (The Virgin’s Journey/fairytale)
Knows her dream.
She brings her dream to life while surrounded by the influences of her ‘Kingdom’.
The obstacle for the virgin is her community.
The virgin is about BEING.
The supporting characters in the virgin’s story are out of balance and grow with her.
The virgin has friends.
THE HERO: (The Hero’s Journey/myth)
Faces mortal danger by leaving his ‘village’ and proving he can exist in the larger world.
The obstacle for the hero is the evil threatening his village/kingdom.
The Hero is about DOING.
The hero has allies and their goal is of mutual interest.
Please click on this LINK to her website. (If it says the link has been taken down, click on the X and – abracadabra – the site will appear!!)
Thanks for outlining all the differences, Diana. I discovered I write the Virgin’s Journey in my stories. I am looking forward to having this knowledge to help me refine my characters’ journines in my books. You’re right – in spite of all the years of learning – there is always a new twist, a new perception right around the corner. One good reason to keep reading, discussing with others and investigating new “takes” on old topics.
Such a ‘simple’ difference between fairytales and myths, but very useful in analyzing your story. I’m glad you got something out of this. Such a great book by Kim Hudson!
What an interesting post. It’s nice to know the differences defined so well.
I’m glad you found the post useful, Mary. Kim Hudson makes some fascinating observations in her book. I’m going to be talking about her take on archetypes and the thirteen steps of the Virgin’s Journey over the next two weeks, so please check in again.
Pingback: The Heroine’s Journey | Girl Tries Life
Thanks for the link, Victoria.