Currently reading The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby by Tom Wolfe. I have no idea what’s going on, but my god, the words are beautiful.
Hints for creating a strong female character based on Hollywood’s standards:
__ Have her beat up a man within the first 20 pages. The closer you make the beating to her introduction, the stronger a female character she will be. In the best case scenario, she enters the story already karate kicking. Bonus points if she knows science-y stuff.
__ Avoid femininity in favor of a sexual militant look. This sexual militant look must be effortless and accidental, because strong female characters are too strong to put time into their appearance. That would mean they were shallow or weak. (Except for that one scene where she wears the slinky dress and we realize she’s human… or at least a viable sexual partner.)
__ Give her a generous amount of dialogue relating to her independence and autonomy. This is to make sure that people understand she is a strong female character. If possible, throw in some jabs at the male characters and their maleness, because the best way to eradicate the objectification of one gender is to objectify another gender.
__ Emotional scarring is a a must. Emotional or mental damage is a good way to explain her lack of soft, feminine values, especially if this damage relates back in some way to a man. This adds complexity, making the strength of your female character actually a flaw that needs to be fixed (probably by the hero).
__ Keep her alone on her pedestal of perfect strong female character-ness. While male characters can be surrounded by buddies without losing integrity, it is best if your strong female character is a lone wolf. Too many strong female characters may push the story into “Feminist” territory, and no one wants that. (The one exception to this rule is if you have another strong female character and they are in conflict with one another. Everyone likes cat fights.)
Apologies for a few quiet days: I have been busy meeting a deadline. Ever stare so long at a computer screen your eyes dry out and you start crying because of the pain and everyone in the room looks at you with the sidelong concern of hesitant strangers not sure they want to get involved? Anyway, how was your weekend?
Fun fact: The Copyright Act of 1909 only protected “useful art”. Studying intellectual property and copyright law studies can be quite metaphysical at times. What do you think an example of “useful art” might be?
This week will be spent doing layout design for an internationally esteemed literary journal’s 60th anniversary issue. No pressure at all.
Until writing becomes your escape, your obsession, your preferred reality, you will only ever be a guest of literary greatness.
Dear Self-Published Authors of the World,
Please stop flooding Amazon and social media with covers featuring stock photos of naked torsos and evocative, single-word titles in Gothic font.
Someone Who Follows Far Too Many Self-Published Authors
Sometimes you have to do something other than write. Bake cookies, go for a walk, scrub the bathroom, play an instrument, sew up a hole in an old pair of jeans. Clear your head and don’t think about words. Play hard to get. It’ll get the Muse’s attention…
The problem with living an interesting life surrounded by interesting people is that you’re constantly inspired but can never write anything for fear of insulting someone…
A Writer’s Benediction
May this year be full of beautiful, colorful, rich, compelling characters: brand new imaginary people who will save the hearts of children and bolster the dreams of adults. They’re waiting in the wings, ready for their moment. Maybe they’ve been waiting for centuries. Maybe they were waiting for you.