Gives Up What Kept Her Stuck

February 15, 2011 at 9:12 am 1 comment

This is one of the most significant beats of a movie and requires that the writer really know the impediments to the protagonist thriving in the world on a psychological level.

Somewhere in her past the Virgin adapted to her environment in a way that requires her to stay small.  She has an unconscious belief that she will not belong or not be safe or not be loved if she follows her own inner guidance system.  In this stage she is ready to face that belief and decide if she still wants to live by it.

The clearest representation of this beat I have ever seen is in Ever After.  It is the moment when Daniel asks her stepmother if there was ever a moment when she loved her like a mother loves a daughter – unconditionally.  She is told she is no more than a pebble in her step mother’s shoe and with a nod of her head she accepts this.  She will no longer serve her step-mother with the hope of earning a mother’s love.  She is free of her limiting belief.  That’s gotta feel good!  Harsh but good.

This beat has cleared the blocks making it possible for the Virgin to carry on with her quest to bring her authentic self to the world.

Fight Club has this moment as well.  It is when he is in the hotel room and it dawns on him that he is both people.  He is no longer the underling or the betrayed victim.  He can join all parts of himself and “step up to the plate” in life.  Previously he had to create a persona that was better than he believed he could be.

If you want to write really engaging stories you want to nail this beat.  Often the limiting beat can be found in The Price of Conformity (beat 2).

Happy writing!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Inspiring quotes Virgins big at the Oscars

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Lorne A  |  February 15, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Kim: Thanks for two excellent examplars of the “Giving up what kept her stuck” stage in movies. It is clearly an absolutely pivotal juncture in a character’s developmental arc, and part of the “sine qua non” of all Virgins’ journeys.
    My question is about what it must take to make such a momentous decision (the Hero would describe it as courage-what would the Virgin call it?). To relinquish what dimishes you, or to let go of the fear that immobilizes you is no mean feat, one that summons one’s inner strength. In your work, do you consider this the first of several manifestations of the Virgin’s strength, and if so, how significant is it to you in the overall journey to self-fulfilment> Is what is being called upon “bravery” or something else?
    Thanks as always,


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