As I work on my WIP “The Cats”, I notice that I seem to be repeating a familiar characterization of my main character, which happens to be female. Instead of writing a kick-ass, strong female, I’ve made mine, once again, timid and unable to fully stand-up for herself. Am I starting a trend in my stories?
It seems as if the best liked female characters, especially those that are the main characters, are tough and take no crap from anyone. But the main characters in my two books – “The Dark Proposal” and the WIP, “The Cats” – are the opposite. Granted, with my current project, the main character has to be because she is bullied. Bullied people aren’t usually strong, confident people anyway. The same goes for some people who get into abusive relationships, like Claire did in “The Dark Proposal”. I also have some story ideas where the female character is either timid or troubled. Very few of my story ideas have a strong, tough female character.
What does this mean? Am I against strong women?
Far from it. As I once mentioned before when I discussed this topic, I prefer a kind of character who’s like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Personally, I find kick-ass, strong characters to be very boring. Especially since, in the case of the female character, they are almost perfect and not complex enough. It seems like female characters are not allowed to be complex, with strengths and weaknesses like all other human beings. Male characters are allowed to be flawed, but not females.
I also have story ideas where the female character is done right evil and does terrible things. Does that make me an anti-feminist? Again, far from it! I just believe in capturing the human race as it is. Women can be awful just like men, or be spineless as anyone else. That doesn’t mean that I am against women being strong or good. I just know from life’s experiences that women can be weak or evil, just like men.
I’m aware that many readers prefer strong characters, especially when it comes to women. I know that means I may lose readers or not have a huge bestseller if I stick to my formula for female characters. Hey, I may not even get a book deal with a major publisher that way. But I truly believe writers should write what is in their heart’s desire, rather than what is popular. I’m also someone who cannot write what is in my system, so I cannot write something that is trendy or would be a worthy bestseller. It just wouldn’t come natural, and I would be bored writing the story.
So, writing not-so-strong female characters looks to be the norm for me. Maybe that would be the theme for my characters during my authorship, as in, it would be something I would be known for. And I like that 🙂