Monday, September 8, 2014

What I Want To See From More Women Characters


Maybe it's just the books that I'm choosing, but it seems that most women that are in the books that I'm reading are SO one dimensional. They may be really passionate about one thing (that one thing usually turns into a guy by the end) and that's it. Other than Stephanie Plum who is a sports fan and loves her job, but even the hockey is on the sidelines. What I'm getting at is, most women in books are not well written in my opinion. Sure, we may like them but are they well written when we distance ourselves from them after a few months and really, really think about them?

I try to think like an author. I do. I think to myself "gee I bet it would be really hard to make someone three dimensional" but then I remember how easy it would be to describe a girl wearing a dress one day and then the next day chugging a beer at a baseball game. I remember that it's possible to write a girl that is at ballet lessons in her pink frilly tu-tu and then goes home to put on her all black outfit and does witchcraft. See how easy that was? Now imagine that character. Imagine that second character. That was be AWESOME to see in a book.

But I've never seen that. I've seen girly girls and I've seen "tom boys" but I've never seen a girl that was both. I've seen "dainty" girls and I've seen hardcore devil worshipping girls, but I've never seen a girl that did both. But you know what I see in real life? Me. A girl who owns more pairs of heels that I like to admit but also spend 20 Friday's a year in downtown Detroit at a baseball game.

I hardly see any characters that enjoy sports unless they are men. Meredith in Anna and the French Kiss played soccer and it was mentioned in the first 20 pages that she has a Cesc Fabregas poster on her wall. I was SO excited for this character because Cesc is one of my favourite soccer players and I was so excited to finally have a character that loved soccer. You know what I got after that last mention of the poster? About four sentences of how Meredith was off playing soccer. Okay yes, Meredith wasn't a main character and this was a romance that had nothing to do with Meredith, but it still annoyed me because I got one character that was sort of like me and she is pushed to the sidelines and forgotten. I was talking to someone that has read the book more than once and couldn't even remember who Meredith was.

Lindsay Boxer from the Women's Murder Club by James Patterson likes baseball but she only watches it when it's on tv and if Joe is watching it. Baseball is only ever mentioned if Joe is watching it. Sure, you could say they are mysteries books and don't need to talk about baseball, but why is it not possible for her to sit down and watch a game by herself?

People could probably make a lot of excuses as to why these things aren't mentioned, but if someone can go in detail about the food they ate for dinner then cant they take one paragraph a book to talk about a sport that the character loves? If an author doesn't want a sport to get in the way of a "girly girls" image, then say she used to like sports. It's not difficult to write that in. Background information is important.

Of course, this is just me. Maybe someone else wants more female characters to enjoy playing chess. Maybe someone else wants more female characters to stand up for abortion or for anti-abortion. Maybe someone else wants female characters that worship the devil. Everyone wants something different, so this is just my opinion. I just want more characters that are a little more like me.

So, what would you like to see in more characters? Or do you like how it is now?