A recent article about unlikable heroines pointed out that likability is often more of a problem for female characters than for male characters. While I’ve learned how to minimize those issues with my characters, the problem still rankles me.
As writers, we do everything we can to make readers invested in our characters in some way. An invested reader is a happy reader, right?
Well, maybe not. Let’s take a look at the other side of character development.
Theme is one of those concepts that can be hard to understand, but by understanding themes, we’ll better satisfy our readers. In the recent debate about the romance genre’s requirement for a happy ending, the controversy comes down to themes, believe it or not. *smile*
Everyone has an ego, a sense of how they fit into the world. In the publishing world, that “everyone” includes the newbie writer and the multi-published NYT bestseller, the professionals of traditional publishing and self-publishing. Sometimes egos are healthy and helpful for getting things done. Other times…not so much.
Last week, I challenged writers to think about how they’re giving back to the writing community because it needs our help to thrive. Yet no matter what I recommend, there will be takers infecting our community, so let’s learn how to recognize them for what they are.
We’ve probably all seen us vs. them attitudes for many aspects of writing, implying that there’s only one right process. However, just because something works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for everyone, and in the end, there’s only one thing that matters.
If we write genre fiction, we might bemoan the lack of respect, but the same lack of respect occurs at the reader level too. Readers of science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, young adult, and romance have also been looked down on. Many outsiders have attempted to make readers ashamed of their reading choices by judging by subjective measures.
One of the things I mentioned last time to soften the frustration we might feel for not reaching our goal yet is that life is a journey. There is no finish line. So if we’re constantly comparing where we are now with where we want to be for our goals or dreams and being frustrated about that gap, our life will feel lacking. Always.
I talked last time about the strengths of an alpha heroine. Does that mean betas are the opposite and therefore weak? Nope, I would never say that betas are weak, so what traits do beta characters have? What would a character without strengths look like?