Macquarie University
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The hero's journey in narrative media: the female model

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posted on 2022-03-28, 16:38 authored by Sophia Riley Kobacker
This thesis has two parts: a treatise proposing a narrative model for the Female Hero's Journey; and an original film script written in accordance with this new narrative structure. The exegesis elucidates how this new narrative model, devised through my research, was overlaid upon my original feature-length screenplay, 'Little Bit Long Way', to tell the story of an authentic Female Hero's Journey. This methodological approach to research-enabled screenwriting practice produces two outcomes. First, it builds a new narrative structure that can be applied to feature-length narrative screenplays. Second, it creates a feature-length screenplay that demonstrates the new narrative model while showcasing a Female Hero as protagonist. There is ample evidence that numerous blockbuster films have made use of Joseph Campbell's mythological Hero's Journey narrative model. My research is significant in that it illuminates previously-obscured mythological elements of the new Female Hero's Journey. It also demonstrates, through its original creative component, a fresh narrative structure that, following Campbell's model, has the potential to support the box office success of female-protagonist-led films. My doctoral research fills a gap in the existing literature relating to the Female Hero's Journey narrative model. It contributes to the field of creative practice screenwriting research, within the research field of narrative structure in fictional media narrative. It does so by creating a socially constructive, culturally resonant narrative model for the contemporary, mythologically-based Female Hero's Journey in screen narrative. As has been demonstrated through my original creative artefact/screenplay, this innovative narrative model for the Female Hero's Journey can be directly applied to narrative screen texts, not just in feature film, but in a variety of genres and screen formats, including long-form series storytelling, transmedia and television narrative, and game design -- summary.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1. The quest for the mythological female hero's journey narrative structure: Joseph Campbell and mythic narrative models -- Chapter 2. The need for a new mythological model - the female hero's journey -- Chapter 3. Finding the female hero's journey screenplay structure: research-enable screenwriting practice -- Chapter 4. Screenwriting authorship: screenplay text and the creative process -- Chapter 5. Falling short of the female hero's journey screenplay structure via conventional film industry models: Draft One - Creative Artefact -- Chapter 6. The female hero's journey: narrative transformation for women and girls screenplay structure via the female hero's journey model: Draft Two - Creative Artefact -- Chapter 7. The hero's journey in narrative media: the new female model -- References -- Creative Component: Feature-length screenplay, 'Little Bit Long Way' - Draft Two.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 182-220

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

John Potts


Copyright Sophia Riley Kobacker 2019. Copyright disclaimer:




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