Kill the Clones5:46 PM
Sometimes it can be hard for me, as a writer, to have variation in my female main characters. Maybe it's because I keep socialization to a minimum, but I don't think so. I mean, look at all the great books and movies that are accessible from home... :D
It's because there is a certain kind of woman that I admire and wish I could be like, so I then create all my female main characters to fit that mold. But if I do that, then each book will be a different plot with the same person. It'll be boring and repetitive.
1. I like making my characters have green or blue eyes because I think brown eyes are boring (I have them).
2. Almost every character has brown hair. Or at least dark hair.
3. Another pattern I see almost every time is that I like to make the character quiet but deadly. Able to handle themselves in any situation. I make them characters that have authority in the way they hold themselves or talk.
4. I make them beautiful.
5. They're always in shape and can handle weapons. Basically, kick-butt.
There's nothing wrong with any of the above characteristics. At all. Especially the kick-butt one. But variety is good and it's what makes the world such a unique place to live.
1. Brown eyes are not boring. A person can have almost-black eyes, golden brown eyes, etc. (I try to reassure myself)
2. It's okay to be blonde. Blondeness definitely doesn't make you dumb and that's not why I don't have lots of blondes in my books.
3. There are all kinds of people. People that talk too much, laugh at every joke, smile at strangers, hide themselves deep in their own shell, or stutter when talking to strangers. If every person was a cookie cutter copy of the last person, where would our individuality be?
4. Physical beauty does matter. I get it. Sometimes you stare into the mirror and wonder why you aren't as pretty as that girl you saw at the grocery store. People pay more attention when you're prettier.
Physical beauty doesn't matter where it counts. It's true.
You might have gorgeous eyes but maybe your face is a little too chubby for your liking or you hate those freckles sprinkling your cheeks. You're still beautiful. I've seen averagely pretty/handsome people smile. Their whole face lights up, the corners of their eyes crinkle. It's awesome.
Don't argue with me ;)
5. Let's be honest here. I'm not in shape. I hate exercising with a deadly passion. I don't know how to fire a gun or use a bow and arrow. I'm not even sure I could make myself injure someone, let alone kill them like in the many current dystopian-setting books.
Those are things that I have never liked (exercise) or never needed to learn (weapons). I would do these things if I needed to, especially to protect my family. But the fact remains, I don't have these talents.
I'm scared of water and heights. I wait in horror for the time when I have to take a speech class because I hate talking in front of people. It's the staring. I'm uncomfortable around large groups of people I don't know. I have bad eyesight (And it annoys me that this hasn't been dealt with in dystopian books at all. What, every person in the future has twenty-twenty vision?).
What I have is reasonable hand-eye coordination. I can remember faces and movies very well (Seriously, me and my family used to watch Little House on the Prairie a lot then we stopped for like years. We decided to re-watch them and I could remember how almost every episode played out. I think I freaked my dad out). I can carry a fifty pound bag of dog food which is almost half what I weigh.
My perfect female main character is a stereotype. A stereotype I have created and not only does it cut way down on diversity in my novels, but (if any of them were published) it would add to the common belief that only a few kinds of people can be heroines or heroes.
I don't want to do that. I want people to know that being different is good. And so here's to hoping I can kick myself into gear and implement that in my writing.
Do you have the same tendency to make all your female or male main characters similar? What are some skills or habits that, as far as you know, only you have?
NOTE: I know I've been changing the design of the blog A LOT recently. Sorry for the lack of a heads up! I'm just trying to get it perfect :)