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Monday, 26 August 2013

female characters

One of the hardest things I find to do as a writer is write convincing female characters. I am not alone in this among male writers, indeed among some female writers I have read. Even some of the greatest writers of the English language have struggled with this at times. George Orwell to take a random example fails to write anything but two dimensional female characters.
I am particularly aware of the difficulty of writing females characters as a male writer due to  spending a lot of time reading informative well considered and well written blogs on the subject by people who have expressed the issue far more eloquently than me.
Rather than point people at individual posts on these blogs (because I think they are blogs everyone should read , ) I will just link the main blog +http://summer-of-supervillainy.tumblr.com/ +http://nkjemisin.com/ and +http://www.jimchines.com/blog/ been among those I read most frequently, though they have links in their own posts on the subject to many more . Admit ably this saves me trying to fish out individual posts as well.
Having been immersed in eloquently written opinion on how female characters often fall into ‘love interest ’ secondary characters , or  lead characters who’s main overwhelming drive is their own romantic interest.  Which is to say female characters who are defined by the male characters in the novel rather than by their own characteristics. I have striven to avoid the more obvious pit falls in my own writing. That is I have tried to make my female characters as well rounded, fleshed out and complete as any of the male characters. Without their drives and goals been based around the love interest.  The best that geekdom has to offer often fails to do this, to cite another blog which talks about a single example of this +http://sophiamcdougall.livejournal.com/16309.html , I am an unapologetic Whoaphile but I recognise Sophia’s arguments here, and agree with them. There are so many other examples.

In my novel ‘Cider lane’ (which is the working title, until I come up with another one ) I have strived to make both main characters well rounded , with the view of trying to make them both equally fleshed out and complete as individuals. With the aim of been at least honest with myself and making both main characters equal in terms of work and effort and one not just a love interest for the other. I also tried to follow this through with other characters in the book . and am using a female friend as a proof reader just to see if I have got the female characters even vaguely right .