#YesAllWomen

I’ve known for a long time that I don’t write female characters well. I just don’t.

Which is a little strange because I am female (right?) and you are supposed to write what you know. So surely I would know how to write women.

Not necessarily.

For a long time I have denied exploring my own sexual nature and kept quiet, pigeonholed – mostly by fear – into my role as a divorced (and therefore straight) single mother who had to be quote unquote normal (even though I know normal doesn’t exist) for her kids to grow up well adjusted. And honestly, there were enough other things various authorities got onto me about my parenting that I had to worry about without adding sexual identity or orientation into the mix.

So the idea of a female main character? Not comfortable for me. It’s like in my psychology courses, you realize what you have biases with and you just don’t work in those areas. I have a difficult time working with children because of raising a son with autism. It’s too close to home. The same applies for female characters.

Sadly, my female characters do tend to be one of two things:

1) The “good” girl – shy, intellectual, modest, kind, loving, usually motherly in some fashion.

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leorahLinked, the story of the mages, actually has the most female characters because it was at this point in my life I felt the strongest as a woman, the most empowered. I had just separated from an abusive husband, filed for divorce, and was striking out on my own with two kids.

 

Sabine, from Kiro no MatsuroShattered by a trauma of a different nature, Kiro no Matsuro did not figure any strong female characters that I had created, I left those all to my partner Scorpio. Sabine was basically a token girl to ‘balance’ the four boys.

 

 

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Falling Toward Heaven did not originally have any females at all, not until I made Garnet and Topaz around the time of my mother’s death. Garnet was basically just inserting my mother into the story.

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2) The “bad” girl – sexy, confident, high self esteem, proud, outgoing.

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In Linked, Leorah needed a balance from her much more confident, sexy little sister Aurora. However, there is also Lydia, used so little, yet she’s so damn powerful when she does appear.

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ecstasywet genesis_in_redMost of my Kiro no Matsuro girls are actually second generation, because it wasn’t realistic if my characters had all male children. Yeah, like that’s the weirdest part about them. Ecstasy and Genesis are both bad girls in different ways, Ecstasy through sexual confidence and Genesis through aggression.

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topazGarnet’s sister Topaz is the template for all my proud, amazing, sexually confident women.

I swear all my female characters boil down to Garnet versus Topaz. Shy versus outgoing. Bookworm versus slut.

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I need to do better.

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