Monday, January 13, 2014

OhMy! Monday: @StephRyanAuthor Loves Flawed Female Characters #amwriting #ASMSG #MyWANA

Welcome to another Oh My! Monday. This week I wanted to touch upon a hot topic buzzing around the author community. The discussions all center on female characters and whether or not the weak, blank slates are more accepted than the visions of perfection.

I say neither. I want a female who's a combination of both. She should be a blank slate when faced with a new adventure. She may have some preconceived notions about it, but she's willing to learn from her journey and adapt as she goes along. She should be confident,but not afraid to show her vulnerable side. She shouldn't think her life isn't complete unless she's in a relationship, but she better damn well not shove someone out of her life because "she doesn't need anyone."

Do you see where I'm going with this? 

My favorite characters are flawed and REAL. They're smart and talented in a variety of different ways, but their far from perfect. Perfect heroines are BORING. Completely blank, single dimensional characters or boring and IRRITATING as hell. Someone made a valid point as to why these blank slate characters are so appealing (think Anastasia of 50 Shades...). Readers identify with these sort of creatures because it's easier to insert themselves into the story if they don't have to pretend to be strong, assertive, smart, self sufficient, and unafraid to try new adventures.

Yeah, that may be true. Personally I think it's a crock and a cop out. I love meaty, raw, in your face female characters who've been kicked to the curb one too many times and now they're fighting back. I like to put myself in their shoes and story lines during the times when I'm not my strongest. Through the lives of these colorful heroines I can escape and maybe feel good about myself because I concurred a fear or two...even if it was just in a fictionalized tale.

I read Fifty Shades and the other two books in the series. I also read all of the Twilight books. I enjoyed all of them...not the female leads though. I wanted to grab both of them and shake the shit out of them.

There have been a lot of reviewers attacking the strong, self-reliant, heroines. They think their abilities to get through adversity on their own is just as irritating as I find the blank slates. I'll give odds 10 to 1 that these very same reviewers would attack the blank slates with just as much venom.


Women in general can't be happy for another woman...ever. There's always a bit of jealousy there. I'm guilty of it as much as anyone and it's one of my own characteristics I'm not fond of and would just as soon dump it on the curb. Unfortunately, it's a part of me as much as my hatred of black licorice and the taste of coffee.

Before you jump all over me about the virtues of the candy and a good strong cup of Joe, stop.  Just stop. I have my opinions and you have yours. My tastes are mine and yours are yours. There will always be someone out there who doesn't like my characters. I'm fine with that. 

What I won't do is change them to make those few people happy. If I do, I'll only anger another group who adored everything about them. I've decided to let the characters speak for themselves and the chips fall where they may. It's all a crap shoot anyway. 

So here's to writing the best story you can, with characters who are real and true to themselves. May all of us find others to share our worlds and have fun along the way.

Until next time,

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