A woman’s touch

I’m going to hark back to previous post here and I’m going to talk characters again.

Primarily I write for myself; mainly because I get some sense of pleasure and accomplishment from it. Also, I care about the characters I’ve somehow lucked into and I want to know what happens next.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that at least some part of me wants it to be read by others. And if others are going to read it, I want it to be as well written as it can be.

I’ve already said that I’ll be going through A House Divided once I’ve got my initial draft done. I might even go over House Valerius as well. I’m sure there will be things that I’ll want to tweak, things that will need changing. But there is one area in particular I am, and always have been, concerned about.

Women.

I’m male. My main character is male. My best received character (far as I’ve been able to judge) is male. But there are a number of important female characters as well and I always wonder if they’re written as strongly as the men.

I don’t pretend I have any great understanding or women (translation: I’m pretty clueless) so I worry about my characterization of the major female characters. This has probably been exacerbated lately by this year’s Bubonicon, where strong women was the main theme, and a number of articles I’ve been reading about treatment of female characters in various media.

All of that brings up questions when I think about the female characters I have. Do I make them pro-active enough without falling into the trap of making them unsympathetic? Do I fail to make them distinguishable from the male characters, other than in name and description? Above all, do they read as real?

So far, there were three major female characters in House Valerius, another added for A House Divided, and yet another intended for House in Exile; and all of them have (or will have) fairly large scenes devoted to them.

The part that gives me hope that I’m doing okay is that two of those scenes are probably among some of the most emotive work I think I’ve done. But, I’m a little to close (or clueless) to stop worrying….

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