The lone female story construction and how creators default to it – and how we can combat it. Also the digging-bodies-out-of-the-rubble dramatic beat, final reveals, and biological drives to physical aggression.
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.
Ah, very good today is Tuesday May 31st – year’s flying by I think so take the summer’s gonna fly by too as in. Days of yore um, ah seems like I have a lot of stuff planned for the summer already.
So um I was thinking as I sat down that I wonder what I have to think about or talk about or anything this morning.
Ah, um, yeah, so I got through the the major beat of digging bodies out of the rubble which um Darynda agrees is an appropriate dramatic beat. And now I’m doing final final reveal which I’m not entirely sure what it is still fuck my life there. That’s something in my eye. Don’t know what it was.
So I’m at um, 94000 words on storm princess ah, and yeah, self to do this final scene then my four epilogues. So. It’s going to be longer than 98000 words unless I want my epilogues to be only a thousand words each which I just think isn’t going to happen but but there’s time. So um, yesterday I got almost 3K words twentysixhundred something. So maybe I’ll get that today.
Well well I don’t have a lot in my head this one. I was thinking about um, just trope I almost feel like I want another word for it. It’s like a ah this thing in my eyes still bugging me. All right? We’ll see if that works So I don’t know. Is it a cliche. It’s It’s like a default construction a default construction that I see. Some authors fall into.
That and and it’s something I’ve been playing about before and and I think that we just get so programmed to accept this that it becomes like a a knee jerk storytelling. Crutch default construction I would call it cliche because it is a little bit but I feel like this goes beyond that anyway. I should say what I’m talking about ah I think that um. It’s this thing where you have one female character where you have like a group of men and one female character and you know we just see it come up all the time and I think we’re so used to it that we don’t think about it. But. Book that I’m currently reading and this series that I’m I’ve been loving I mean it’s been a great reread. It’s weird I Some of these books I think I read half of them and not anymore or either though I stop paying attention Mom I’m. I am getting into the part of the series when I fell off of the series and I’m because I know I’m having to buy the books and and I’m glomming it I mean that’s it’s been Great. It’s been great getting through the stressful times and um, I’m. Learning a lot from how she does things like fight scenes she has so many more fight scenes than I do and she does them in different ways. So So that’s been good I mean there are so many things I like but she has a real tendency to have a sole female character. And all the rest are men and every once’s while like she’ll drag in kicking and screaming another female and she’ll be there a little while and then disappear again. And it’s funny because you know obviously it’s some sort of paranormal right? because that’s the normal thing that I read paranormal thing I read Ha Ha far. So It’s not like the. Standard reasons for not having female characters or more female characters matter because we’re talking about you know, like ourmortal beings with superpowers so you could as easily have an equal number. Why not even just an equal number.
Ah, males and females. But no, she has way way more male characters.
Sorry got distracted watching the hummingbird and it’s we we got to quit doing this guys. Ah, um, yeah, we just need to have. More female characters and books and I I think some of this comes from well. Okay, so I’m gonna do some broad generalizations here when men write it I think it’s because it’s easier to give distinct characteristics for them to male characters. So you know there’s like the brainy guy and there’s the suave guy and there’s the big beefy guy. Um I rewatched guardians of the galaxy last night. Great show. Great show. Um I love how that movie is done I see new clever jokes in it. Every time I watch it I’m sort of resuming my Marvel rewatch I’d fallen off of it for a while in in winter soldier. There are things I really like about winter soldier. But I don’t love that movie I’m not sure why maybe some of you can tell me why? um. I kind of get bored part way through it and so that’s what happened I’d like gotten an hour into it and then I had stopped watching it for some reason then then didn’t go back so I finished it and I was like this is fine I don’t know why I got bored I mean there. There’s some you know great bits I love the. Captain America black widow inter play. Um and spsttion stan does a great job as with their soldier I don’t know I don’t know what is about that would be anyway. I finally made it through that and watch did my re watch of guardians of the galaxy. But. That’s a classic example and yeah I know you know they’re like reaching back to the old Marvel um, not necessarily doing any gender swapping which they probably could have but your your main team of guardians of the galaxy right? is you have? um. Star lord right? and Peter Quill who is a distinct character right? He he’s probably 1 of the most rounded characters of the group so you have star lord Peter Quill then you have the talking Raccoon genetic experiment then you have groot that who is the tree like being um and both of them seem distinctly. Male. Ah, even though there’s no reason they’re both voiced by male voice actors anyway and they’re.
Given male characteristics which you know like why does the tree have to have a gender ah and then you have Gomorrah who is the green skinned woman and then you have I can’t think of his name. It doesn’t help. For you guys to shout it at me because I cannot hear you um you know who I mean big beefy guy right? Who is very literal. So so there’s like our character types right? and Gomorrah is the female. And I know I’ve talked about this before but it just starts to drive me crazy how often I see it and you know it’s even um, you know and and so some of this comes from all of these stories that we’ve been reading all our lives and. I think that we default to that so that’s one reason and then I think like in female driven stuff when female writers are writing for maybe for female readers too that there’s the you know, not like other girls thing. That this is how you make your female character stand out and be special if there are no other female characters around which is just irritating.
Now so it’s interesting at a polycon um coming up at the end of July one of my travel things there I filled out my form for the panels for that and. One of them is about female friendships and stuff. So I I hope that’ll um, be interesting to hear that panel I know that more and more readers are asking for that. You know for books that are about the female solidarity. Um. You know, a lot of times when there are other female characters in the books. The ones that are there are a source of jealousy or competition. Um, yeah, or they’re evil. So which is okay I mean everywhere why I see someone saying oh well, we shouldn’t have any female villains because well for reasons I I don’t even understand all the reasons people think that it’s like misogynistic and I almost like it’s more egalitarian right? you know women are as capable of evil as men right. We can be just as terrible hey I don’t not quite an argument a debate with my friend Jim last week at writer coffee because I was talking about. We were talking about war and gender we were talking about the the shootings and I said that I thought that young men tended to be biologically driven to be more aggressive that young women. Have you know all the hormones and the energy and so forth, but it tends to channel in a different direction than physical aggression and he he said that he didn’t was it sure he agreed that you know he said well do you really think that biology drives our behavior that much and I said. Yeah I do I I think it’s a combination. You know the nature and nurture debate. But yeah, and and the thing is is that he is a very gentle man and he is not a physically aggressive person in any way. But you know I was like. You know there’s a reason why they have military academies for boys and not so much for girls you know sure girls get into trouble and girls act out and do shit and there’s like girls schools and stuff. But it’s not that military structure and I don’t know maybe that’s.
Ah, programming thing too. Maybe maybe girls are just so relentlessly programmed to be nice that we don’t get into physical aggression. But I’m not sure I believe it I think that there’s certain. Do think that our biology drives us to certain extent that we have to remember that we are more than our bodies that we are also intellectual and spiritual beings. But you know those hormones and that biological drive. That’s why I was saying to Jim I said you know that. Drive to be heard bull I think is responsible for a whole lot of stuff and you know garner as many females as you can and rule the other bachelor males I’ve just known too many guys like that.
Well so so anyway I I feel like this is something we we really need to deliberately work on as um I I have no problem with having female villains. But I think that there should be. Strong female relationships that are not competitive and not jealous and that I would just love to see new books being written. We won’t worry about the old books but going back and adding in or making it be just a ah balance you know and. I know a lot of people are working on that having you know more diverse characters having characters that are you know and maybe of no gender or binary. Um, or I’m sorry, not binary I cannot talk. Non-binary and b what’s wrong with me today I was I was trying I was trying to say bisexual that was it nonbinary bisexual too. Enbys I got hung up. Um, but yeah, that’s I think that. Doesn’t grote later isn’t baby group turn out to be like genderless or female or something I have to see on the rewatch. So anyway, it’s just working against that story cho. Um, and I know I’ve talked about it before but. I’m not going to stop talking about it until you guys fix it. But so um, yeah I don’t think I have much else to say um I’ve ah kind of got this this swelling in my brain. Ah. Figuring out what this final reveal is going to be yeah and then so the question is do I go back and do my revision before the epilogues or do I write that blogs I think I’ll just see how I feel. All right? Well instead of that babbling about nothing I think I’ll go get to work and I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday short week in the us if you had yesterday off and yeah, gonna be fun week for me. Building up so I will talk to you all? Oh on Thursday you all take care bye bye.