1. CGB
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    CGB Active Member

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    Difficulties with a female protagonist

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by CGB, Feb 13, 2015.

    I'm trying to come up with the female version of what I usually like to write in a male character (the "sarcastic smart-ass"). But this particular character is a 30-something year old heiress to the largest fortune in the galaxy and she is the #2 at the largest corporation in the galaxy (it's a space opera by the way).

    The closest thing I can think of what I want closely resembles Jeremy Piven's character from Entourage (Ari Gold).

    Do you know of any female characters in fiction that approximate this?
     
  2. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Adelle DeWitt (Joss Whedon's Dollhouse)

    Lady Macbeth

    Apparently many of the royals in Game of Thrones
     
  3. Sipsik
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    Sipsik Member

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    Just write like you usually would. Don´t be afraid not to sound believable, women aren´t some kind of mystery shit. Gender means nothing.
     
    Cheyenne and RachHP like this.
  4. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would think her social status and education would have a greater effect on her manner and personalty than just being female as opposed to male.
     
  5. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Give her a reason to be a sarcastic smart-ass!

    Do her parents want to prevent her from taking the throne?
    Is she expected to be all white dress and flakey because she's a woman when really, she wants to be out there fighting for her cause?
    Does she have younger brothers snapping at her heels for the throne?
    Have the rest of her family been killed by the opposition and she's the only one who can bring peace back to the galaxy?
    Does she just have a really bad time with her periods that cause her to be an uber-bitch if you get on the wrong side of her?

    Until you understand why she's a smart ass, you will have trouble writing her as believable. Gender doesn't have as much to do with it as you think, what you have to consider, is everything else about her life and how she ended up where she currently is.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmmm. This is hard because that sort of hyperactivity is something people tend to associate with testosterone. I do think I can be done, and I'm sort of attempting a few similar characters in my own stuff, but character models may be hard to find, and this sort of behavior has really only been acceptable for women in the workplace for a few decades (not to mention the CONCEPT of women in the workplace is new in historical terms). I wouldn't recommend any of the Game of Thrones royals as a watcher of that show - non of the women have that sort of personality (although Joffrey Baratheon does - but he's obviously a dude).

    Believe it or not I think you might actually find some of your better models in the Teen space rather than in adult workplace dramas - because this is the type of person who normally get's cast as the "mean girl" clique leader in high school plots.

    The character Regina George from the actual movie "Mean Girls" comes to mind.

    Santana Lopez from "Glee" is another one. This is actually a pretty good highlight reel so you might be able to mine it for dialogue models.


    Of course growing those people up is difficult but it's a start. The only other thing I'd keep in mind is that while this character cast as a male often shows up as total jerk who alienates people, the same character as a woman often shows up as something of a sexually manipulative femme fatale - if she's as narcissistic as you describe her, she's probably put a lot of time into being physically attractive and will be fully aware that (unlike a male version of herself) seduction and sex are things that she can use as weapons and advancement tools. That's not to say that male characters CAN'T do that, but it's easier for a female character at certain levels - especially if your character is the narcissistic, over-preened cheerleader/rich-kid/mean girl archetype.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  7. Cheyenne
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    Cheyenne Member

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    Honestly, a sarcastic smart-ass would be easier to write if you ARE a sarcastic smart-ass. But if you've written a Sarcastic Smart-ass before, use that. But tweak it so that it's a different character. When it comes to a character type, sex means less than nothing. A woman can be a hard-ass, and a man can be sensitive. You don't have to confine yourself to gender-norms.
     
  8. Rian Lovelace
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    Rian Lovelace New Member

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    I have to agree with the everyone else who is advising to write it just like you would a man. Have you read/watched the Game of Thrones? Martin writes phenomenal female characters (some are feminine while others aren't at all).
     
  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Just write as you normally would. The worst thing you can do is try to shape it like you "think" a woman should sound. You're running into gender stereotypes and run the risk of making your character really flat. Some traits people typically recognise with a certain gender can be used, but there's really no reason for you to stick so exclusively to them. Women are humans - just think of how a normal human being would react. If you wanted it to be more specific, think of the women in your life whom you know. How would they react? Mix it up :)
     

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