As I told you yesterday am I participating in the #LoveWritingChallenge by Katie Kling. For more information see the previous post.
This weeks theme are Characters and today is all about Female Characters.
To make things easier for myself I will focus on the ladies (and characters) in three of my longer stories:
- The Unnamed One (with Michael)
- The Queen’s Wish
- The Neubrandenwolf
Though I might add more from other stories.
For stuff about our characters from Warlords feel free to check out our Facebook Page.
So let’s take a look at the ladies in my stories…
In general am I not a fan of the Damsel in Distress so most of my ladies are strong and independent, but usually also compassionate about something and sometimes girly.
I’m fairly certain that I only have one girl that is obsessed with her male counterpart, but I still portray this as very unhealthy, at least I would if I had written any of it …
And when I think about it, do I have quite a lot of ladies in my stories, especially in leading roles … Michael’s family alone has about ten important female characters … interesting …
Though I still don’t always manage to pass the Bechdel test, as sometimes those ladies‘ main focus of discussion in a scene is a guy in trouble or at least one of their male family members …
Anyway, let’s talk jobs.
I’m fairy certain that housewife is a non existent job in any of my stories. I have pretty much everything from (kinder garden) teacher, maids, barkeepers/-owners and housekeeper over journalists, psychiatrist, doctors, corporate consultant, lawyers (to-be) up to matriarch and queen.
Usually I try to fit the job to the character and not the other way round, but sometimes it has to be the latter way (if you write about a queen, then you have to make someone queen 😉 ).
And what about their relationships?
I’m not entirely sure any of my ladies have what is generally considered a normal relationship…
Sure some of them got married and stuff, but the circumstances are a bit different.
In TUO I created the concept of the True Mate, which is basically the only partner a (wer)wolf can mate with and expect to conceive a (healthy) child, so some of the couples there are created through that concept, others defy it.
Thinking about it also made me realize that the love-arc in both TQW and TUO follow a similar pattern: Two people fall in love, but stuff and logical reasoning keeps them apart. It’s not innovative, but it fits the characters. They want to be together, but they also know that it’s not a good idea. And I think that’s also a pretty important point: Don’t force a relationship if it might end badly and you already have a bad feeling about it.
Talking about relationships means talking about sexual preferences and I have to admit that those have changed quite a bit over the years. When I first started working on TUO every character was straight, simply because I was forteen and I didn’t really know it any better.
Now I do and my characters come to a headcount of at least two bi, four lesbian (+ three side characters), one ace (and a transgender side character). It’s not much, but through this they no longer feel like something is missing and they’re not themselves. It just makes so much sense for them…
Okay, let’s take a closer look at some of my ladies, all of which are minor lead characters, without giving too much away. I’d talk more about all of them, but then I wont be able to finish the post any time soon…
Rita Desmond (TUO)
Rita is a pure blooded Werwolf and therefore quite peculiar. She would do anything to preserve her species and is therefore not just a well trained doctor and genetics/racial history specialist, but also an executioner. She is also the head of a multi-species (different Therianthropes) asylum for strays.
One of her biggest flaws is that she loves what she is and gets pretty violent towards anyone calling her „human“ and she also looks down on them as the lesser species.
What I like about her: She is one of my few female asshole characters and it’s fun to write her badass side, but also her vulnerability.
Lihsa is one of the queens maids and deeply loyal to her. Originating from a small village she came to the castle to become a member of the staff and over the years even became the right hand to the head cook (also female). She can be spunky, but also melancholy, challenging and thought provoking, but most of all: She knows what she wants. It’s not always easy for her to manage her (love) life in the castle, but she gains a certain wisdom from it that even makes the queen admire her for it.
What I like about her: That even though she always receives the bad end of something, she doesn’t lose hope and is strong enough to give something up that is important to her.
Like much of the story in general was Rasha not planned, but writing more about her makes me quite like her. She is one of the few human characters in the story and cares deeply for her wolf friends and lover. Yet at the same time is she a fierce protector of the law and striving to become a lawyer. She has a certain light headedness about her and manages to lighten the mood in almost every situation. Her big heart lets new people in easily and she accepts them as they are and wants to be accepted like that as well. Which isn’t really easy as human fiancée of a wolf, who doesn’t want to turn her(, yet).
What I like about her: Her optimistic personality that I’m still exploring. 😀
Girls, girls, girls
When creating my girls I don’t think about breaking gender roles, I pretty much let them tell me who they are. Sometimes they surprise (e.g. when I discovered that one of them liked girls, when I had already planned for her to get a boyfriend), sometimes it’s a transition of exploring different topics and seeing what fits for the character or how they would react to it.
It’s important to have a variety of characters in a story, just as we have in life.
Life is colourful and fiction should follow its example.
See you tomorrow, when I talk about finding names for my characters…
Funny, I also once had a character called Rasha 😀
Thanks for your post, that was really interesting. I like the way to kind of discover your characters and let them tell you what they want – like what job fits them and what kind of relationship or sexuality. Very cool to read that and have an insight of your writing 🙂
Great to hear, you enjoyed the read. 🙂
But I’m sure you didn’t come up with it the same way I did (which you’ll learn tomorrow) 😉
This was so much fun to read, thanks for your post <3
Like Katie already said, I love the diversity of your characters and that you don't try to force roles on them, but let them tell you who they are! 🙂
Ah, thank you, glad you like it!
As I wrote above: You can only have a diverse cast if you know about diversity. So the more I learned about it, the more I realized which directions the characters actually took. But I still feel like I’m still far from having truly real-life like diversity…