In life, there are defining events that shape our lives and drive us.
Sometimes the event is a Big Bang. Other times, it is a little pop.
Sometimes it is a blessing. Other times, it is a curse.
Sometimes, it is a great thing. Other times, it is a traumatic one.
Sometimes, the impact is immediate. Other times, it slowly takes root and grow.
Sometimes, the event has a clear and direct impact. Other times, it is subtle and unexpected.
But it is the event that alters the course of a person’s life.
It is the core of a person’s essence. It motivates and shapes perceptions.
In Matriarchal Storytelling, these events are Mother Stories: the story that explains it all.
In a murder mystery, it is a whydunnit. Mother stories explains not just the why, but the how: how does the person interpret the world and how do they solve their problems.
Mother stories are not necessarily the first story an author writes in a series. The Matriarchal is not bound by chronological restrictions. Many films in the superhero genre are origin tales, and their mother story comes first.
However, the Matriarchal can defy both time and space. It is about the Infinite, not the One (there can be hybrid stories, but I digress). The Mother Story can be the first one told, or it can be the last: it also can be quietly slipped in anywhere in between.
The purpose of the Mother Story is to reveal the seed of being, but as there are several events in our lives that define us, meaning Mother stories can signal different eras of a single character’s life.
For example, Magnus Lyme, the World’s Most Dangerous Woman is told with a series of mother stories: what made her want to infiltrate two dangerous global cabals in the first place? The epilogue of the novel The World’s Most Dangerous Woman is, in fact a Mother Story explaining the why, but doesn’t explain why she opted to become a consultant.
The answer to that question comes in the upcoming novella Hollywood Underground where we see how Magnus, here a twentysomething detective beginning her infiltration one of these cabals was given the first hint of her future life, yet it will take many years before the full impact of it comes to fruition. Here, two books serve as Mother Stories to one another: the Matriarchal is not about compartmentalization: it is about overlap. We can write stories in a Venn diagram where lives overlap and events impact different characters in different ways.
Mother stories focus on events and people who leave an impression on a character, but not the consequences as we can watch the evolution unfold elsewhere. It is about taking the time to examine how experience guides our lives and the changing ways we see the world.