The Woman in the Story: Writing Memorable Female Characters

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $9.30
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 65%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $9.30   
  • New (6) from $14.70   
  • Used (3) from $9.30   

More About This Textbook


Venturing where other screenwriting guides fear to tread, The Woman in the Story provides screenwriters and storytellers with a groundbreaking creative paradigm for the creation of memorable female characters.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932907797
  • Publisher: Wiese, Michael Productions
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 225
  • Sales rank: 575,471
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments x

Foreword xii

Introduction xv

1 The Power of the Heroine 1

Why Choose a Heroine? 1

Masculinity and Male Heroes 4

The Feminine Superthemes 5

Supertheme 1 Familiar Femininity 6

Supertheme 2 Feel Good Femininity 9

Supertheme 3 Fighting Femininity 11

Supertheme 4 Future Femininity 13

Exercise: Screenwriter's Self-Assessment Questionnaire 15

2 The Memorability Factor 17

Character versus Story 17

Choosing a Character 19

Exercise: Finding Your Heroine 19

The Memorability Factor 21

A Memorable Story 26

Exercise: Your Heroine's M-Factor 27

3 Going Against Type 29

Acceptable Clich├ęs and Stereotypes 30

How to Use Role Choices 32

The Role Choice of Heroine 34

The Role Choice of Nurturer 40

The Role Choice of Dependant 49

The Role Choice of Believer 54

The Role Choice of Caryatid 62

Exercise: Your Heroine's Role Choice Questionnaire 67

4 Making It Personal 69

Finding the Story 69

Heroine Story Types 70

Path to Wholeness 71

Tests of Love 71

Group Endeavor 71

Quest 71

Survival 72

Wandering Woman 72

Rites of Passage 72

The Talent 72

Theme 74

The Metaphoric Wound 77

Exercise: Your Heroine's Gifts and Wounds Questionnaire 85

5 A Phase She's Going Through 87

The Phases and Theme 88

Phases and Structure 89

The Identity Phases 89

The Relating Phases 101

The Momentum Phases 112

Exercise: Phases in a Complex-Linear Film 120

6 Women in Trouble 121

Cultural Conflict 122

The Layers of Conflict 124

Psychodynamics and Conflict 132

Exercise: Your Heroine's Conflict Questionnaire 137

7 Feeling Good and Finding Love 139

The Importance of Union 139

Cultural Union 140

Men and Union 141

Union and Your Heroine's Story 142

The Layers of Union 143

The Steps to Love 150

Exercise: Your Heroine's Union Questionnaire 158

8 Genres for Heroines' Stories 161

Genre and Your Story 162

The Primal Argument 162

Genre Bending: Evolutions in Genres 164

Drama 165

Romance and the Dramance 166

Romantic and Dramantic Comedy 168

Comedy 171

Thriller 172

Supernatural Thriller 173

Biopic 174

Musical 175

Science Fiction 175

Unpopular Genres for Heroines 176

Exercise: Genre Conventions 177

9 Unsung Heroines 179

Forgettable Heroines 180

Heroine Softening 180

The Development Process 182

Managing Your Career 185

Future Heroines 186

Exercise: Screenwriter's Story Questinnaire 188

10 A Heroine in Action: An Analysis of Juno 191

Juno's Supertheme 191

Juno's M-Factor 192

Role Choices 192

Story Type, Theme, and the Metaphoric Wound of Juno 193

Phases 195

Layers of Conflict 197

Layers of Union 199

Filmography 201

Film 201

Television 209

About the Author 211

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)