Friday, February 18, 2011

Fictional Females at Ink Slingers

This week at the Ink Slinger Critique Group blog, we are talking about what makes our female characters awesome and what we require in a good female character. Go here to read everyone's responses. Trust me, you'll want to (especially Emery's).

I love my female characters to stand out and surprise the reader. I also want them to be challenged to do something that may not follow their traditional gender role. I require my girls to be fearless and confront danger head on. (None of this damsel business). I don't want my readers to see my female characters and say, "Ugh, she's pathetic." (I'm talking to you Bella Swan and Sleeping Beauty. Seriously? The first time you see a spinning wheel you reach out to it...duh.)

Here's what I look for in a Fictional Female:
-Fearless (or if they have fear, they work through it)
-Don't let others fight for them (Take on their own battles, though in their own way)
-Challenge themselves to something better (They're not satisfied with being mediocre, *cough* Bella Swan *cough*)

-Don't let the boys have all the fun while they drink tea in the parlor (Self explainitory)
-Never use gender as an excuse (I can't! I'm a girl!!! <--Characters you're warned. I will kill you and it will be excruciating)
-DON'T WHINE. (this is pretty much any character for me, unless I mean for them to be annoying)

And the most important:
Have faith in themselves.
Eventually the young adults reading my books are going to have to go out on their own in the world. For some it won't be so bad (Harry practically ran from the Dursley's) but for others leaving home is not going to be easy. Home is comfortable and safe, and you don't have to worry about making really stupid mistakes.The world is freaking scary. I like to see my characters take the jump and not look at where they're landing, only have the faith that they will land on their feet. It goes back to the saying, "If they can do it, why not us?" Thank you J.K. Rowling for that brilliance.
Chloe Moretz: Rumored by to play Katniss.

Take Katniss from The Hunger Games.
- volunteers in her sister's place.
- fights her own fight, she doesn't even make really good alliances.
- risks her life to hunt food for her family.
- tries to save Peeta, even though he won't let her.
- takes on the role of mother when her own is out of it.

I know what you're saying...she was soooo stupid about Peeta though. Why did she have to be so dumb? He loved her.

Easy. Look at her stats. Female characters who are this self reliant (and awesome) usually have a common flaw: they won't let a guy close. They are often scared that by depending upon a guy, they will turn into those fainting Disney princesses (I love Disney, don't get me wrong, but sleeping while the prince comes to kiss me sounds a bit...pitiful.). This also adds tension to the story...will she fall? Won't she fall?

This means your guy characters have to be hunters (not literally). They almost have to be those guys you see in romantic comodies shaking the girl and screaming, "My God, when will you understand I love you and I'm not going anywhere?"

Basically, my fictional females must rock the world of my readers by being awesome and working through their flaws. What makes your fictional females awesome?

Sidenote: You're right if you were wondering if I choose that pic of Chloe just because she was with Rupert Grint.

DOUBLE Sidenote: Hello and welcome to everyone who has joined the last two weeks. If I haven't made it over to your blog to follow or responded,  it is due to my lack of awesomeness. I'd love to meet you. Leave me a comment if you want or shoot me an email. I love hearing from fellow bloggers. Have a great weekend!


Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great post! I prefer writing about kickass female main characters who can still show a moment of weakness, though not necessary where the hot guy is concerned. ;)


I totally agree with you! My main female character is no Bella Swan, however, I do believe their are girls out there like "Bella" and it's cool for them to have someone they can relate to. Me personally, she is not one of my favorites.

Meredith said...

I'm in 100% agreement with you! I love my female characters to find their strength and fight their own battles. Great post!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

He he he on the Rupert Grint sidenote. :-)

I don't write many female characters, but I fully agree with your take on this topic.