Thematically linked inner plots and outer plots create dynamic stories. An inner plot is also known as the Character Emotional Development (CED) plot. The outer plot is the Dramatic Action (DA) plot. There is another plot category beyond the traditional. The one I’m thinking of lies deeper than the inner plot. I call this critical and overlooked plot the Character Intuition Development (CID) plot.
Character Intuition Development
A hunch, a feeling in your bones, your gut, an inkling and sneaking suspicion are ancient sensations from your spirit’s infinite wisdom attempting to communicate with you. Intuition comes from inside of you but is less of you and more a guide from an energetic force beyond you.
Fantasy and science fiction writers, romance and mystery writers, young adult, picture book writers, thriller and literary writers center outer plots around revenge or redemption, getting the guy or losing the guy, solving a mystery or exploring new lands as shown through the dramatic action. At the same time, the character’s emotional maturity develops through success and failure, changing and transforming. The critical and overlooked plot I haven’t paid much attention to is the journey toward learning to trust one’s intuition.
The Voice of Your Spirit
Of the multitudes of sacred feminine skills and source of power in all people and primarily in women and girls is the power of intuition. Women are endowed with instinct, insight, awareness, sensitivity, perception. Intuition is like a sixth sense beyond the traditional five senses.
The protagonist of your story is often in an environment where she does not hold primary control. One of the most critical skills and abilities available to her is listening to, trusting and heeding her intuition. The trouble is that for so long this collective ancestral legacy of the mothers has been discounted, ridiculed, silenced and repressed. As a result, today intuition goes unheard. Or, if a light does go on, she instantly dismisses her inner voice.
Rational versus Intuitive
In the dark ages, women’s intuition was demonized. Furthermore, at marriage women were separated from their ancestral kinship with the female line to live with the husband’s family. At the same time the scientific model came into the fore. Before long, science, religious and political systems and patriarchy trivialized, scorned, bullied and disrespected a woman’s intuition. Could be the institutions and people feared a woman’s power to read people. Or, the dismissal may simply have arisen because intuition hadn’t yet been proven scientifically.
The Character Intuition Development plot is about reclaiming the matriarchal legacy of knowing.
Stages of Reclamation
Your protagonist is required to accept her inner knowledge without the need for proof or evidence. This evolution is shown scene-by-scene as she comes to know without knowing how.
In the beginning, she overrides her intuition with doubt. Besides, she doesn’t want to appear rude. And so, she surrenders what she instinctively knows to people or beliefs she places above her. By questioning herself and resorting to conscious reasoning and analytical analysis, she loses time.
In the first half of the middle, the more she overthinks and second-guesses herself the greater her peril grows. Her antagonist uses her uncertainty to his advantage.
In the dark half of your story or second half of the middle, she instinctively knows she’s in trouble. But rather than act on instinct and the urgency she feels to run, she simply backs away. Rather than ask questions and do something about all she sees and hears, she ignores the red flags. Instead of acting on what she knows to be true, she wastes precious time rationalizing and telling herself she’s overreacting. Instead of trusting her intuition, she shuts out what she doesn’t want to believe. Afraid of causing a scene, she denys and talks herself out of changing her situation.
Buried from disuse and oppressed beneath all her fears and uncertainty lies her greatest power against her antagonist — the sacred feminine’s intuition, imagination and creativity.
More perceptive of her inner knowing, she becomes more savvy of the light and negative forces within others. Above all, she learns to discriminate people’s energy and take action. As she does, she discovers a force deep within that she invites forward to guide her.
A woman’s ability to listen and follow her intuition may not always keep her safe or prevent more grisly headlines. But now feels like the right time to resurrect the endowment bequeathed us at birth. Celebrate, honor, strengthen nurture and refine your intuition. Write about the power. Infuse your stories with sisterhood. Demonstrate how intuition, creativity and imagination are an endless abundance of deep knowing and power. The pursuit alone is worthy, and perhaps may even save a life…