The Virgin’s Promise by Kim Hudson (book review).

May 24, 2014 | By | Reply More

Before you think ‘The Virgin’s Promise’ is some sort of honour fulfilment for things to come, author Kim Hudson’s book’s sub-title is ‘Writing Stories Of Feminine Creative, Spiritual And Sexual Awakening’ should give a better picture. Hmmm … not so sure now.


From the introduction, things get a bit clearer. Joseph Campbell’s ‘hero’s journey’ plot is explained as being too male-orientated and there’s a need to show a more female-orientated plot. It still ends up being a journey but has a more fantasy take to it that is emotionally more fulfilling than finding victory at the end of the road. This doesn’t just apply to the fairer sex as Hudson also gives a number of male examples in films where the same applies. Interestingly, there are only two film fantasy choices and it isn’t until the second section that we also get a spat of SF films as part of the examples.

The female character archetypes are still pretty much the same as that for the male-orientation. What makes this book stand out is having the information given in comparison tables because it shows where they differ from each other. Something that should make a connection to all of you is that the heroine and hero are givers compared to the other archetypes, so they are already half-way there to get some sort of emotional high from succeeding. I reckon I’ve seen about 80% of the film examples and although I felt it was a bit bitty mentioning them all throughout the chapters, there was a final synopsis for all of them at the end. In some respects, I felt that was a bit too much padding although useful to those of you who haven’t seen all the films. Oddly, the one synopsis Hudson made the most mistakes on was ‘Alien’ having misnamed ‘Kane’ as ‘Cain’ which someone should have spotted and I’m still wondering where she got the year 2037 from for when the events happened. If she’s using ‘Prometheus’ as the example, she’s got them the wrong way around as that film’s chronology places it first. Saying that, the analysis in chapter four where Ripley realises Ash is the real enemy is spot on.

Although there are some similarities between what Hudson says and the Campbell stereotype plot, I do think she ought to look at other male-orientated plots and see if she can approach them with some more emotional content, because that is really what this book is all about. For the prose writer, this book will give some insight into films, especially on their plot similarities across the genres. For the apprentice scriptwriters amongst you, I suspect that had you attended Hudson’s lectures, then you would been required to see all the film examples used. As such, you might well want to make a checklist from this book as a means to cross-check for analysis.

GF Willmetts

May 2014

(pub: Michael Wiese Productions. 191 page small enlarged paperback. Price: $19.95 (US), £11.85 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-932907-72-8)
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Category: Books, Films

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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