This weekend just gone, I, C.S. Woolley, ran a workshop on writing strong female characters. For those who have read my books, it should come as no surprise as to why I was asked to do this. For those who haven’t read my books – read them, you’ll understand then 😉
The forum for it was perfect, the UK Indie Lit Fest 2016, packed with authors from a myriad of different genres, but most of the authors there were women. Women who wrote everything from romance to self-help, horror, adventure, crime and fantasy – plus the readers! The variety of women in that room was a demonstration of how varied we are as people – not just as gender stereotypes – so why is it that strong female characters are still remarked upon, and why is it that so many people mistake the masculine traits in the strong female characters as the reason they are strong?
These are not questions I am going to answer in this blog, it will take too long and they are questions to be debated.
There have been a few requests for me to modify the workshop I ran into an audio download with a PDF handout to go with it, which I am in the process of producing (it may take a few weeks), but in the meantime what I wanted to challenge writers and readers alike to demand more than simple stereotypes in all characters. All authors (myself included) fall into the trope trap, but as every person, regardless of race, genre, ethnicity, religion, background, social standing and financial state, should be treated as an individual – valued for their strengths and supported in their weaknesses; so too should our characters. We need strong characters and weak characters as much as we need heroes, villains, those we hate to love and those we love to hate.