Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How do you create real female characters?

So I'm working on my latest book, and I have decided to focus more on some of my female characters. I think it's unfair and stupid that most stories are about men, and that most of the women in books and movies are one dimensional and are only there to be love interests to the men. I've seen so many movies which have only one female character. And that one female is usually extremely beautiful, over-sexualized, and completely lacking in anything like a real personality.

Come on! Real women are beautiful (in individual ways), but there's much more to than us than our faces and our bodies. We have personalities too!

It's funny, though, because I find it difficult to break outside of the stereotypes in spite of my strong convictions. I KNOW that we women are interesting and have depth. Sometimes we're mean and sometimes we're nice. Every woman is an individual with unique preferences, habits, and ideas. It should not be so hard for me.

The two characters that I'm developing right now come across as so shallow and frivolous, and that's not my intention at all! I want them to be normal nineteen-year-old girls who try to look good, (with a sense of style in their clothes and jewelry, etc.) who are crushing on boys, but who also work hard at their jobs and who react to things in characteristic ways. Despite my best efforts to create depth, these girls just seem so FLUFFY!

How do I write female characters that are real, deep, and still stylish and beautiful?

Later on in my book, I'm putting in a girl who's a bit more like me- quiet, geeky, and none too concerned with physical appearance. Maybe a girl like that will be easier to create.