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the Virgins promise

An alternative/companion
to the Heros Journey
Based on the book The Virgins Promise: Writing Stories
of Feminine Creative, Spiritual and Sexual Awakening

by Kim Hudson

This character arc (or character growth process) is called The


Virgins Promise. It is based on archetypal symbols and comes
from the realm of fairy tales. The story usually follows the journey
of a woman seeking to bring her authentic self to life by following
her dreams.
Kristen Stewart in Snow White and The Huntsman

Amanda
Seyfried
(above) as
Red Riding
Hood; Drew
Barrymore as
Cinderella in
Ever After.

Archetypes are universal character types that people relate to at a deeper


psychological level. Psychologist Karl Jung pioneered the idea in the 20th
century and Joseph Campbell used it in his book about the heros journey
titled The Hero with A Thousand Faces. Fairy tales often contain
female archetypes, while myths use male archetypes.

The Crone

The Whore

The Mentor
The Hero

The Coward

However, the
Virgins Promise
arc can also be
used as a mans
journey toward
self-hood and
authenticity.

The traditional
Heros Journey
-- which is
based on Myth
-- can also be a
womans
journey.

To understand the difference between the traditional Heros


Journey and the Virgins Promise, one must understand the
difference between Myth and Fairy Tales.
Mythical Tales (Heros Journey)

Fairy Tales (Virgins Promise)

Journey is external
Centered on world of
obligation;
physical independence
Set in a world or circumstance
that is foreign, very unique
Characters are very specific
Tragic tale of hardship; overall
pessimistic

Journey is internal;
Centered on self-worth and
selfhood;
psychological independence
Set in casual, everyday life
events in the domestic realm
Characters are generic and
common
Happy and optimistic style;
happily ever after ending

Beat Sheet Differences - Heros Journey. Virgins Promise


Heros Journey Beats
Act 1
1. Ordinary World
2. Call to Adventure
(inciting incident)
3. Refusal of the Call
4. Meeting with the Guide
5. Crossing the First Threshold

6.
7.
8.
9.

Act 2
Tests, Allies and Enemies
Preparations
Crisis (moment of doubt)
Reward

Act 3
10. The Road Back
11. Final Battle
12. Return with the Elixir

Virgins Promise Beats


Act 1
1. Dependent World
2. Price of Conformity
3. Opportunity to Shine
(inciting incident)
4. Dresses the Part
Act 2
5. The Secret World
6. No Longer Fits in Her World
7. Caught Shining
8. Gives up What Kept Her Stuck
9. Kingdom in Chaos
Act 3
10. Wanders in the Wilderness
(moment of doubt)
11. Chooses Her Light
12. Re-Ordering/Rescue
13. The Kingdom is Brighter

Getting to Know the Virgins Promise with Legally Blonde


Virgins Promise Beats
Act 1
1. Dependent World - protagonists world/need for
growth/movies question
Common scenarios:
* material survival
* social convention - Elle Woods is Daddys little
rich girl who has found the man of her dreams,
Warner, and believes he will propose, completing
the plan for a perfect life.
* protection
* conditional love
2. Price of Conformity - suppression of protagonists
true self
Common scenarios:
* sleeping through life Warner tells Elle he needs
to marry someone who is serious because he has
plans to be a senator.
* restrictive boundaries
* servitude
* psychological danger

Getting to Know the Virgins Promise with Legally Blonde


3. Opportunity to Shine action leads to first
expression of the Virgins true nature
(inciting incident)
Common scenarios:
* directed by fate, actively pursued
* actively pursued Elle gets into Harvard
to prove shes worthy of Warner (Anti-3)
* wish fulfillment
* someone in need
* pushed by crone (older wise woman)
4. Dresses the Part Protagonist relates to
energy of authentic self and transforms
into something tangible
Common scenarios:
* Becomes Beautiful
* Receives a physical object
* Participates in a fashion show Elle
puts on a pair of horn-rimmed glasses on
her first day of law school
* Undresses

Getting to Know the Virgins Promise with Legally Blonde


Act 2
5. The Secret World a separate world from the
dependent world is created so protagonist can
experience her personal authority
Major concern: Fear of Discovery
Elle puts on glasses and impersonates a lawyer
for her beauty salon friend. She likes being
taken seriously. She starts Harvard Law.
6. No Longer Fits in Her World Virgin increases
power in self-knowledge; feels more
discomfort with dependent world
Common scenarios:
* Becomes reckless
* Becomes confused
* Attracts attention
* Declares task too hard Elles boss/professor
makes a pass at her and she quits her job and
is ready to quit law school; All people see is
blond hair and boobs. I was just kidding
myself. It turns out I am a joke.

Getting to Know the Virgins Promise with Legally Blonde


8. Gives up What Kept Her Stuck
Virgin sacrifices some of her
past to move on; major turning
point in psychological growth
Common scenarios:
* Fear of Being Hurt Elle
thinks shes a joke and packs to
go home (anti-8)
* Fear of Loss of Love

7. Caught Shining Two worlds collide; secret


discovered; she is punished, shamed or exiled
Common scenarios:
* Grows too big
* Circumstances change
* Recognized by her dependent world
* Betrayed Just when Elle believes that
people are taking her seriously, her boss
makes a pass.

9. Kingdom in Chaos Virgin


begins to change and causes
chaos in the Kingdom; others
are effected; old sense of order
begins to crumble
Elles decision to quit law firm
leaves Brooke, the defendant,
without an advocate.

Getting to Know the Virgins Promise with Legally Blonde


Act 3
10. Wanders in the Wilderness (moment of
doubt) second stage of changing beliefs;
life is uncomfortable ; she experiences
being alone and separate from DW
* Elle returns but begins to ask stupid
questions in the trial
11. Chooses Her Light Virgin trusts herself,
pursues her dreams, or passions; last stage
of transformation
* Elle dresses herself pretty in pink and
steps up to the challenge.
12. Re-Ordering/Rescue Virgin moves from
secrecy to claiming personal authority; the
kingdom accepts her own vision of herself
Common scenarios:
* Sees her value Emmett comes up with a
plan for Elle to use her power of a blond
for the greater good

* Reconnects her with the kingdom


* False rescue
* The test
* Multiple rescues Brooke fires
lawyer and hires Elle with
support of Emmett

Getting to Know the Virgins Promise with Legally Blonde


13. The Kingdom is Brighter - The
Kingdom accepts the Virgins new
self; changes for the better
Common scenarios:
* Evil has been uncovered and
removed
* New life is injected in the kingdom
Elle is valedictorian and is a shining
example of looking beyond first
impressions and having faith in
yourself
* Unconditional love binds the
kingdom

Virgins Promise Beat Worksheet


Virgin Movie Title:

Protagonist:

Main Characters:

1. Dependent World
__________________________________________________________________________________________
2. Price of Conformity
__________________________________________________________________________________________
3. Opportunity to Shine
__________________________________________________________________________________________
4. Dresses the Part
__________________________________________________________________________________________
5. Secret World
__________________________________________________________________________________________
6. No Longer fits Her World
__________________________________________________________________________________________
7. Caught Shining
__________________________________________________________________________________________
8. Gives up What Kept Her Stuck
__________________________________________________________________________________________
9. Kingdom in Chaos
__________________________________________________________________________________________
10. Wanders in the Wilderness
__________________________________________________________________________________________
11. Chooses Her Light
__________________________________________________________________________________________
12, Re-Ordering (Rescue)
__________________________________________________________________________________________
13. The Kingdom is Brighter
__________________________________________________________________________________________