A few weeks ago I bought this book on a whim.45 Master Characters. See, I love formulas and structures when I am writing. I am not one of these that thinks everything MUST fit a formula. Rather, I think that the formulas that make sense are derived from observation of what works. The are descriptive, not prescriptive.
The bulk of the book lays out 45 character types and how they can be used in fiction. Then there is a whole section of sub-types, with descriptions of how they can be used. That is all fascinating, but the real gold came after that.
At the end of the book is a section outlining the female version of The Heroic Journey. It is shoe-horned in almost as though it was a great idea that was not quite long enough to have a book unto itself. This was quite fortunate for me, as I think I might have been too skeptical to pick up a book called "The Feminine Journey".
In fact, I was still skeptical as I started reading those chapters. But then pieces started to fall into place. The story structure it was putting forth started to line up perfectly with things that I had been planning for my new female protagonist, Icicle.
I was sold and I started carrying to book around with me.
It has helped me shape this story arc with skill and confidence.