All stories have the same components for a structurally sound composition, (1) the setting (2) character (3) event (4) development (5) climax (6) and ending. At least this is the formula that most educators pass on to writers to be better equipped to paint words on canvass. All of these components are important but the most important for the audience is the ability to connect with the main character. The objective is to make sure the audience cares what happens to this person the duration of the story.
There are some wonderful examples of this six step composition working to propel stories forward. In addition, the vast majority are usually, and have been, men characters. The main character has an identified weakness and then overcomes that weakness in various documented stories as ancient as the bible, greek mythology, Shakespeare and a vast majority of literary genres and movies. In literature class and even when I was studying for my MFA in film, our models and topics of research were predominately men. How was I to know the six step to composition would work if I hardly saw it demonstrated for me to study? Where are the historic female narrative for women writers to pattern their craft after?
After careful searching, there are no bible stories with lead women plots. (Do we not need lessons on morality?) Shakespeare did not have any. And while greek mythology did have a lead woman in a play, “Medea”, the motive in the story was revenge on her husband who was unfaithful to her. She was driven with anger and revenge the entire story and her resolve was to murder her children. Nothing else was produced as evidence of a cortege of women writers for educational curriculum to be inclusive of both men and women. This is why so many of my Sheroes would always insist that “we need more women writers.” And don’t stop there! It’s not just women writers, it’s women writing about women. Our perspective! Our colors! From our height and window view of the city! If this does not happen, the world will continue to be taught about women from men and not what they see but what they want to see, their interpretation.
Women, we have to be the creators of our stories. We can no longer waste time struggling to debate or re-define what has been written and said about us from a male perspective. African American women… wow… we really don’t have time! We will either sit docile and negotiate our existence in literature or create what we live to provide determining facts for other women. While the narrative of our stories are very important the most imperative is to chronicle our subsistence. This documentation of our psychology within social and political events will sustain our livelihood and demonstrate our contributions.
Let us continue with our She Chronicles.