I get a little annoyed when someone refers to a “strong female character.” By going out of your way to point out that a female character happens to be strong, it’s almost like you’re saying that’s abnormal and unnatural, “women aren’t usually strong but look—this one is!”
I like convincing characters who feel real, regardless of whether they’re good or bad, admirable or deplorable. I like characters that are so true they almost hurt to read because they remind you of your own awkward diary entries but at the same time you want to keep reading because it’s like reading someone else’s diary and honestly is there anything more enticing than that?
One of the characters I’m writing is a teenage girl. She’s not a bow and arrow-wielding-badass and she doesn’t have any sort of special powers—but I still want her to be whatever we mean when we call fictional characters “strong.”
I assumed it would be easy to write from the perspective of a teenage girl, but no. I thought back to how my brain used to work and it was kind of terrifying. There was such a bizarre mix of treacherous DO NOT ENTER THIS IS A WASTELAND crossed with boundless belief in my ability to attain whatever life I happened to want on a particular day.
When it came down to it, there were four things that consumed the mind of Young Aussa: [Read more…]