on Helping Writers become Authors:
As the first transformational archetype within the “life arcs” cycle, the Maiden Arc is the quintessential “coming-of-age” story. It is the story of teenage angst, the joys and heartbreaks of growing up, and the struggle to individuate into a fully autonomous and mature human being.
Like all arcs, the Maiden’s doesn’t just happen. Nor (for all her eagerness to turn sixteen and get her first car) does she necessarily choose it. Although humans can prepare themselves for transformation arcs, we don’t get to initiate them for ourselves. The outer circumstances of our social environment and our own chronological progression through life are major factors in eventually creating the necessary forces to prompt a change arc. These circumstances can be viewed, in many ways, as the antagonistic force that defines both plot and theme in a life arc.