When I worked as a journalist, I understood that the best reporters are the ones who were both hunters and gatherers. They hunted sources as they gathered facts.In Patriarchal Storytelling, the focus is one of a hunter. It is about focussing and following a protagonist. What often gets lost is the fact that to understand the how and the why things happen, we need to gather the grains of facts, and examine each one to see how well our perceptions square with both reality and the truth.
As a journalist, I always had to be both a hunter and a gatherer: I would gather facts, and the tests those facts to see how accurate they were before I would find sources, and then compare what sources to.d me with the facts I knew were truth. I was the living scale who could weigh both as I noted any imbalance and then go out to find that equilibrium.
The Patriarchal style does not give much room for that sort of assessment: the narrator usually assures us to believe in the protagonist and take his or her perspective at face value.
The Matriarchal style shifts focus to grains: it is more than just taking the story as it is: the reader gathers facts as a mosaic emerges. Readers are given the freedom to understand characters in a different way.
I enjoy this aspect of writing Matriarchal stories: I can guide readers to think as journalists, finding out new facts to bring tolerance. There were times when I was a journalist, that I would find facts about a person the would suggest they were one way, but then as I dug deeper, I would find the context that would show they were in fact, vastly different than what first presented for me.
So I took that approach to my writing. Verity Lake is a character who we meet in the Holly Lake Mysteries and she seems standoffish until we read Dr. Verity Lake's Journey of a Thousand Revelations and find out she is out of sorts for a very good reason. Stick to a single series and you have some grains, but add another adventure and the nature of those grains change. We can see the world with a journalist's eye, shaping our assessments of characters as we go along instead of making snap judgments and then clinging on to them. The journey of understanding characters enhances the plot and adds to the suspense. The question becomes Who is that character, not just What will happen next?
We also get to explore a character's how and why: how did this character become this way and why did they choose the path they did? The reader becomes part journalist, part psychologist, learning to find grains and comparing them to the character. We can build worlds as we paint a pointillism portrait of characters in a way we never thought before.
With the emphasis on characters, the Matriarchal style is a more intimate and relaxed approach, bringing readers closer to characters and immerse in those grains, appreciating the nuances of the human condition as well as its evolution over time.