J.K Rowling made the following statement:
(source of quote – http://www.theatozreview.com/2013/06/23/jk-rowlings-20-quotes-on-writing/)
It made me wonder about selecting your characters and deciding which ones to be strong and which are weak. I am writing a historical fiction based novel which has a duel storyline.
In the historical storyline a woman is rejected from her husband (as he has taken up with a new mistress), blocked from seeing her children, forced from her home, her friends and the society she had once been part of. Her story plays a lot on the trauma her husband puts her through, (but she is not totally without sin!) in some cases she leads to her own downfall, threatening her husband, drinking excessively, even scaring the children. She is by no means a weak female despite what society throws at her and goes through a wide variety of emotions.
In the modern storyline my main female character challenges some traditional female stereotypes. She is a divorced single mother, who has recently been promoted, but she already works at a busy hospital a variety of hours. She is quite envious of her ex’s relationship with their daughter built because he works from home. As it is a modern divorce they both get 50/50 access. Meanwhile she has recently lost her mother, and is trying to support her grieving father. She is struggling to keep on top of everything but there is nothing she wants to sacrifice.
Both females are strong but in different ways, they both ultimately just want a happy family life. I never intended to write these things in either a male or a female perspective, the characters drove themselves and the circumstances drove their stories. The characters faced hardships and have to overcome them, as C.S. Lewis put it. I think the modern story could even have been written as a male character I chose female as I felt it fit better with the historical timeline.
Is this something other writers do, openly decide whether their character should be male or female? Does gender of a character make a difference in todays society? What helps them decide that and do you ever change your mind?
There was a Google+ thread in which a writer asked, “how do you write female characters?” and someone answered:
1) I think of a character. 2) I make them female.
I love this answer, because I think gender plays very little part in what makes a good or strong character.
Part of #BeWoW and Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Click HERE for more Quotes on SilverThreading.com hosted by Colleen Chesebro or HERE for RonovanWrites.WordPress.com hosted by Ronovan Hester. Sorry guys, I might have cheated a little having two quotes in here but I liked them both. KL
Make sure to share a song, poem, or a quote, by a writer that inspired you in your own life!
Also entered into Just Jot It January to the prompt – sacrifice. To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your #Jusjojan post.
Quote in full (just in case the image isn’t readable)
“Very early on in writing the series, I remember a female journalist saying to me that Mrs Weasley, ‘Well, you know, she’s just a mother.’ And I was absolutely incensed by that comment. Now, I consider myself to be a feminist, and I’d always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, ‘Well, I’m going to raise my family and that’s going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that’s my choice.’ Doesn’t mean that that’s all she can do. And as we proved there in that little battle, Molly Weasley comes out and proves herself the equal of any warrior on that battlefield.”