Monday, September 1, 2014

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 2: Gender

Now Playing: Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori - Bits and Pieces (Halo 3 ODST soundtrack)

@_@ so here's a lesson I'll never forget: when you think there's no page/word limit...there is. You just haven't caught it yet.

I got so happy going through the twenty or so pages of guidelines my creative writing professor put up on BlackBoard; I thought I was in the safe zone. After she gave us the okay on writing sci-fi and fantasy, I was bouncing off the walls in joy. Then after double checking the syllabus and other supplementary stuff, I thought for sure we could write super long or super short response stories at our heart's content.

LOLNO. There's a two page limit for the weekly writing responses Dx

I CANNOT FLASH FICTION. Me and it are not a happy couple. And I only came to realize this great problem after writing a bunch of pages of a story called Ignited. Had to scale that shit down like a maniac T_T

Granted it did teach me something: you can always keep cutting stuff out, even if it hurts.

...that...sounds...vaguely violent if you don't know I'm talking about fiction editing.

Ahem. Anywayyssss on the survey >.>


QUESTION 2: What gender do you prefer to have as a protagonist? If you have no preference, what gender do you most often have as a protagonist?

FEMALE.

I know, what a surprise...

I think I used to be embarrassed about this. I decided to become a writer because of J.K. Rowling, and I always found it admirable that she'd written with a boy protagonist rather than a girl one since, y'know, it had to be inherently challenging. (I later found out it's not the case since you never truly write people who are 100% like you). That might have been part of the reason I decided to make Jacob the protagonist in The Night Kingdom. There's also that kind of disturbing, intrinsic girl hate that most young women get instilled into their head from society or the media, and we start to convince ourselves that male protagonists are just inherently better than those bitchy females. And I almost went down that path like, somewhere in the abyss that was the beginning of middle school. Hell, I heard friends and classmates express things like "I just don't care about girl protagonists they're so whinny" in high school. And I wondered about it a lot.

But then FEMINISM happened.

Growing up, I always wanted more women in fiction. I was always aware of when they were just super hot mega sexkittens who were either a) all talk, no action, b) there to look pretty--even while fighting, they still had to be sexy, c) a single lady in an army of sausage, or d) for the benefit/tragedy of the main dude.

So I JUMPED IN.

I've written most kinds of women, in terms of diversity, not just personality. Old, young, middle age, disabled, able-bodied, mentally ill, mentally okay, more good than bad, more bad than good, totally grey-gray-morality, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, demisexual*, Asian, Black, White, Hispanic, middle class, upper class, lower class, university graduate, high schooler, pre-school drop-out...

Most of that list applies to my dudes too, but it's more varied in women because I just have more of them, off the top of my head. I think what I've never written is a transwoman (or gender fluid, intersex, etc, etc individual--so sadly, no one outside the gender binary). But hey, I've got a lot more stories ahead of me >.> It'll happen sooner or later >:D

I'm sure I'll write more from the POV's of men in the future, but I think I'm always going to be happy with including more voices of women into my literature.
~Becky

*Note: well possibly. Lilith is demi, but it's not explicitly stated, so she could be read as bi or pansexual

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.