I am so lucky and honored to have Misha Gerrick on my blog today. Congratulations, Misha! You did it!
This is actually a post that I’ve been wanting to write for a while now. I’ve recently been reading a lot about people — women specifically — calling for stronger female characters.
And… well… rolling their eyes every time some industry exec or (sorry guys) man in general points out that there are oodles (okay I’ve never heard a guy say “oodles”, but bear with me.) of strong female characters out there.
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeellllll…. Yes. And most of them are in YA Dystopians of some sort. Which, of course, is a general indication of how hungry women really are for strong female characters. The thing is… I’ve been watching things (because I do. Much more than people think.) and I’m just not always sure if execs get it.
I know for one fact that South Africa’s pre-eminent film critic (who’ll remain unnamed) doesn’t. When Charlize Theron pointed out that she loved acting in Mad Max because there are so few interesting female roles out there, he couldn’t jump on the “oh, but there are oodles” bandwagon fast enough.
And I don’t really blame him. Because we live in a world where female characters act as window dressing so often that most people can’t tell the difference. Especially the people who get to make these calls.
They seem to look at the YA Dystopian action girl heroes and think: “Great! So to get the female demographic into this series with the male demographic, we then have a hero, and put in an action girl to appeal to the girls. She’ll be the Strong Female Character.”
Noooooooo. *shakes head emphatically*
A female character isn’t strong because she can hit a guy so hard that his aunt gets dizzy.
A female character is strong when she makes a choice to keep going even if everything is stacked against her. A female character is strong when she somehow keeps surviving when people somehow in control of her life try to stamp it out of her.
It’s a woman who escapes an abusive husband.
It’s a woman who has no choice about living with one, but who keeps going.
Yes, I love Katniss. And I think it’s awesome that she’s paved a way for so many strong female characters after her. Who can (and do) kick ass.
I just think that there are so much more to female characters that just don’t get the attention they deserve. So many kinds of strength that get disregarded because for some reason, people don’t think that “gritty” characters will be liked as well. Or because people who make these decisions deem that the more subtle sorts of strength will be completely lost on the audience.
Personally, I’d rather take a chance and write my strong girl who’s scared and unsure, but who keeps on making decisions about her own life.
Instead of the hugely confident, kick-ass girl who’s there, but seemingly only to validate the guy in the story, and who seemingly never has a mind of her own.
After discovering her parents had kept a whole world secret, Callan races to discover her past. Not easy to do with an increasingly agitated entity living in her soul.
Going to her long-lost elvish roots should answer all her questions. Instead, she ends up in the middle of a nightmare.
The elves are on the verge of an apocalyptic war. Their enemy, King Aurek of Icaimerith, will only be appeased if Callan marries his heir. It’s either her life getting messed up, or an entire country’s lives lost. Simple enough, right?
Because when the entity wants the elves blotted out of existence, saving them gets taken to a whole new level of complicated.
Misha Gerrick has been creating stories long before she could write and is currently going after her dream of making a living as a writer.
If you’d like to see how that’s going, you can visit her on her blog, where she also discusses all things related to writing and publishing.
Or, if you’d just like to know what she’s reading and get updates on what she’ll be publishing next (Sorry, no newsletter just yet.):
You can follow her Tumblr (http://mishagerrick.tumblr.com)
You can follow her on Twitter: @MGerrick1
And you can circle her on Google Plus: +MGerrick