Beats in the Heroine's Journey

Gail Carriger identfies ten key beats in the heroine's journey, divided into three phases:

Act 1: Descent

  • The familial network is broken
  • The heroine's please are ignored and she abdicates power
  • The heroine voluntarily withdraws from the established social structure
  • Family offers aid but no solution

Act 2: Search

  • Heroine is isolated and thereby exposed to risk
  • The heroine employs disguise or subversion
  • The heroine appeals to a surrogate family or network
  • The heroine visits the underworld with the aid of her friends/family

Act 3: Ascent

  • Success establishes a new or reborn familial network
  • There is a compromise that benefits everyone



Carriger, Gail. The Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture. 1st edition. GAIL CARRIGER LLC, 2020.