Greetings Fellow readers! Welcome to another round of Bi-Monthly Rants. Are you all excited for next weeks release of 'Beyond Logic' on Fictionaut? To celebrate next weeks release, I am going to share some of my 'Thoughts on Writing'.
[Thoughts on Writing: Female Characters
Okay, this was something that I had on my mind for a long time. The problem is that being male, I don't know what I can say about females when I have never genuinely gone through the experiences of growing up female. There has been, for generations, all kinds of talk about females, from their rights to how they are depicted in fiction. While although I could share my thoughts, I just don't see the point, because other than showing vocal support for females and reject things that harm females, my words don't really matter. My words does not equal action, their just words, words do nothing. But writing is an action, and if there is one place I can, and have been doing my best, to help out females, is in my fiction writing, and hopefully future game inventions. Instead pointing out all the problems and what is wrong with, I will instead talk about what I want in my female characters in all my fiction works. It is a personal risk to make these statements, because I am human and I could accidental trip up and depict females in bad light without realizing it. I'm not looking to win points or curry, I just want an understanding of where I am taking my female characters in my own stories.
Females are Interesting:
Okay let me start with what is important in character development, making characters interesting. Most of my works have female protagonists because I find females interesting. Think of it like this, males in many action/adventure tend to follow the same formula; punch, punch, punch, outwit, shoot, punch. Yeah yeah that's very narrow-minded, but I did grow up in the 80s with all those action flicks around me and the 3rd grade girls in my class had cooties. Today though, I find that even though The Expendables and looking back at Die Hard, yeah its cool but Aliens is Awesome. Sigourney Weaver able to kick ass and still be feminine, the writers (James Cameron, David Glier, and Walter Hill) made Ripley an interesting character. She was an every-woman who rolled her eyes when the corporation did not listen to her about the dangers of the Aliens. What she went through, I don't believe would have been the same if a different character took her place. There is no reason to not make females interesting in fiction and have them face situations that are out of norm. Fiction is a what if scenario and my question is, "What is she going to do to get out of that situation?" That is when I write to answer such a question.
Females are Human:
We males make mistakes, females do too. We males can succeed and fail, females do too. We males try to find the best solution to an impossible puzzle and tha choice may not be the best, females do too. This is something important I try to keep in mind. Females can make mistakes, can succeed and fail, and can persevere in their life. Just like males, females has wants and dreams but also can lose said dreams. These is what make all of us human. I do my best to give my females motivation, drive, and at times they can make mistakes. I have them learn from it and move forward. I may not be perfect in many of my stories, but I at least try to give them respect as humans and get to them to stand up and push back. This isn't about asserting "strong independent woman" here, it's about them struggling to climb a mountain to reach the top and overcoming the trials that they face in the situation they are in.
Females are Different, and that's okay:
This is a tough one, because I always ask myself if it's okay to approach this in my fiction. Things like menstruation, feminine needs, pregnancies, these are things that do occur in every female and we males really don't know how that feels. We really don't. And sadly, there are some adult males who act like its cooties and not something to touch on. It's like "eeww" kind of behavior and as an adult, that's sad, really it is. For me personally, these things are genuinely personal and takes a modicum of understanding when putting it into fiction. However as male I'll really never know. Now granted, it isn't a requirement to depict these needs in every fiction unless it is relevant, but my point is that these needs should NOT be treated as taboo, by both genders. If such situations fit within the narrative, I won't hesitate to throw them in there. Because let's face reality, this is something that happens to females and should not be treated as if it doesn't exist. Yeah readers can assume throughout the story these are happening, but sometimes, these needs can happen when least expected and should never be ignored or poked with a long stick from a distance. It's just matter of asking, "Is this personal moment really necessary?" If the answer is yes, put it in there and stand by it.
So yeah, it is very difficult to write an interesting female character do to the subjective nature of fiction. Some readers may take offense and other will say this is a great character female character. I can't sway 100% of the reader population. But what I hope is that when I write my female characters, they are interesting, fun, and most importantly, that they be who they are and be judged by the content of their character and merits, and not as a "female tag". What this means is that if a female a makes choice and its wrong choice, I want my readers to say "She was wrong.", not "Girls, am I right?". And I don't want to see my female characters used as a poster child for an agenda either. That is not why I write females for. Females are awesome.
Well I thank you for listening to my rants. I'll see you all next week with "Beyond Logic", and next months 'NEWS and NOTES' will be Monday July 1st at 8:00 PM EST.
Until next time...