Thursday, September 27, 2018

More than Boys

Kitty is an independent woman. She doesn't need a man!
Please, please, please give your female characters some other interest besides *boys.*

It's time to move past 2005.

I'll admit, back in high school, I was fully committed to boys. They took up at least 60-70% of my waking hours. I dedicated hours of fantasies to them, pages of journals, and withered over countless unrequited crushes. But I was also committed to school and college. I loved listening to music and going to shows in dirty clubs. I wanted to go into A&R, to pluck struggling bands from dingy bars and make them stars. I took guitar lessons, learned to skateboard, drank lattes in smoky coffee shops and talked about how bothersome my parents were. I had more than *boys* on my plate. A lot more.

In light of the #MeToo movement, and the Kavanaugh allegations, (and resulting responses,) it's important to give our female characters life beyond boys. Especially in YA. Don't get me wrong, I love a good, steamy romance, but even in a steamy romance novel, there needs to be more than the romance.

And please, give the best friend other interests beside her friend's romance too. 

If you're having trouble, try the character interview and ask these questions.

1. How old is she?  (And how old is she mentally?  Is she a 40 year old in the body of a sixteen year old, or vice versa?)
2. Did she have a happy childhood?  Why/why not?
3. Past/ present relationships?  How did they affect her?
4. What does she care about?
5. What is she obsessed with?
6. Biggest fear?
7. What is the best thing that ever happened to her?  The worst?
8. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to her?
9. Biggest secret?
10. What is the one word you would use to define her?

If  too many of the answers revolve around boys or someone else's needs, it's time to change. 

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