1. Jacob MIles

    Jacob MIles New Member

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    In need of female characters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Jacob MIles, Jun 13, 2017.

    Hi i'm writing a Young Adult Fantasy Adventure book. It's my first time ever writing a book, and it's going well, though still in the early stages.
    Anyways, my book has no female characters apart from people you only ever see once or simply get mentioned but never shown. Just give me some ideas, I will take them, and expand/adapt/change them. I'm probably only having one or two females, but give as many ideas as you can please.
    Thank you
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Take a few of your male characters and make them female. Bing bang boom.
     
  3. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    What YA story has no females? I need to know more about your story premise.
     
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  4. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    Maybe it takes place in something similar to Maze Runner, or something?
    Though I agree with you on the premise thing.

    I don't read/write YA, but I try to have at bare minimum 1-1 ratio in shorts,
    unless I have something else in mind, where there is a point to having
    all of one sex and not the other, but that has not happened yet. :)
     
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  5. Jacob MIles

    Jacob MIles New Member

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    It's YA, but far from most. It's more like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, an epic tale of saving the world from darkness.
    What happens is these evil demons invade Earth and MC and friends go on a quest to kill the God's in Hell that are sending the demons after being told it's there destiny to do so. Kind of reminiscent of LOTR how a group of normal people mixed with some hardasses are going on a quest to kill the bad guys
     
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  6. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    I'm not sure I understand what you need ideas for? Just develop characters that're needed for the plot, as you would with any others, and make them female. If you don't need any more characters (or you do; either way), Homer's idea to just change existing ones would work fine too. You don't need special or specific ideas to write female characters as opposed to male ones.

    "I'm probably only having one or two females" rubs me the wrong way but it's probably not worth getting into, eh.
     
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  7. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Banned Contributor

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    Giving you ideas for female characters is just treating the symptom, not the underlying cause. The same can be said for gender swapping male characters. It's just covering up the issue. It's much better to isolate why you get stuck and try to solve that instead. Why you're finding it difficult to create ideas when the character ceases to be male.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  8. Jacob MIles

    Jacob MIles New Member

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    When i said "I'm probably only having one or two females" I wasnt trying to say that i would only have a few because their female or whatever you're thinking, more highlighting the fact that I'm only going to add a few female characters as my book is few in characters, but feel free to give as many suggestions as you want
    Sorry if it came over the wrong way
     
  9. Jacob MIles

    Jacob MIles New Member

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    That's a good point, I've had pretty bad experiences with meeting women(most of them were upper class snobs) and only met a few down to Earth, normal women, so i guess that's why. Thanks for the advice, liked
     
  10. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Is there a specific reason why some of the friends can't be changed to be female?
     
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  11. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If the story has a reason for mostly or all male characters, that's fine but it needs to be part of the story. A culture where males and females are separated, a story taking place in a boys school, something deliberate.

    If one is going for an historical setting and the research uncovers an all-male army is the norm, I can see it. Read a piece recently that complained too much historical fiction substitutes modern women not true to the era (though I might argue with the author's premise that women didn't have their own way of exercising their power).

    Point being there needs to be a reason.

    That aside, most fantasy YA tends to involve female characters. Even LOTR had Eowyn, the "I am no man", heroine. And Arwen displayed skills when she showed Aragorn he was vulnerable to getting his throat slashed.
     
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  12. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You might need to read more to expand your experiences. :supercheeky:
     
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  13. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    If you wrote your story and then mechanically changed a male character to female--that is, just change he and his to she and hers--odds are good that the character would be perfectly plausible.
     
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  14. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    @Jacob MIles Welcome to the site!

    There was a thread a while back about gender-flipping one's main characters and seeing how that would change the characterization (and thus the story).

    Most of my main characters could not be flipped comfortably, but only because I had already devoted a lot of time and effort to making specific messages about gender that would not work anymore.

    If you had just made most of your MCs male by default, then you probably wouldn't have this problem :)

    Would you be interested in sharing a quick run down of your currently-male characters so that we could brainstorm together about which characters might get the Lt. Ripley treatment more easily than the others?
     
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  15. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

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    I think rather than creating a character from their gender up, you should compile a list of interesting situations or events that a character--regardless of sex--would be interesting to be viewed in. Men and women are different, but not THAT different. For example:

    Abusive father, dead mother, child blames themselves for their father's descent into hysteria. Do they hate themselves forever or do they try to fix the situation and end up realizing they're not to blame for father's problems?

    Role-model parents that character believes they'll never live up to--does character rebel to become the opposite of parents, or try to become better than parents? In what ways do they do either?

    Orphan child, parents were killed in a shooting; do they cry and fall into misery, or do they become Batman?

    These are all situations that are interesting to explore regardless of whether the character is male or female. A character's gender doesn't really play a part in them being interesting or not interesting; male or female is what they are, not who they are. If you want to make a good character--any good character--focus on what matters; an interesting interaction between character and circumstances, and whether or not character deserves to succeed or fail in whatever goals they have.
     
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  16. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    That thread is here, if the op wants to check it out.
     
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  17. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    ... I had just found it and was about to push Post Reply when I checked the new messages :rolleyes:

    @Jacob MIles Do you want to take a look?
     
  18. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    First it's "anyway." There is no s. Aside from that, what is behind the need to have more female characters? Characters either belong in a story or the don't. There is no quota to fill. That's how I see it.

    I think you meant they're and not "their." Sorry, but this is a writing website. I'm not sure why you are trying to add characters and especially female ones. Write the characters needed to tell the story. Don't add fluff or try to have a gender balanced story. I just don't see those as the most important things when writing a story. But good luck trying to figure it out.
     
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  19. Jacob MIles

    Jacob MIles New Member

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    Sorry I do know my grammar, It's just i'm using an old laptop which doesn't have spell/grammar check and the keyboard is unresponsive. Not to mention i'm very tired
     
  20. Ettina

    Ettina Senior Member

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    I second the idea to just genderswap some of your existing characters.
     
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  21. birdspoon

    birdspoon Member

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    I understand wanting to put in more diversity into something you're writing, but I also know that sometimes that diversity feels forced. So if it doesn't feel natural or if it doesn't lend itself to the story you're trying to tell, I wouldn't make myself do it. Yes, I do agree that you should try and make some female characters to try and get the practice of shaping a female character for future stories, but if this particular story doesn't work with more then one or two female characters, then it doesn't work that way. Maybe get some character sheets and practice making female characters and see where you get stuck in the process, as I believe someone above may have offered as a solution as well.
    Good luck!
     
  22. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    If you flip a coin 10 times, you would have

    0.1% chance of 0 heads and 10 tails
    1.0% chance of 1 heads and 9 tails
    4.4% chance of 2 heads and 8 tails
    11.7% chance of 3 heads and 7 tails
    20.5% chance of 4 heads and 6 tails
    24.6% chance of 5 heads and 5 tails
    20.5% chance of 6 heads and 4 tails
    11.7% chance of 7 heads and 3 tails
    4.4% chance of 8 heads and 2 tails
    1.0% chance of 9 heads and 1 tails
    0.1% chance of 10 heads and 0 tails

    If you looked at the 1000 most successful stories in your culture, if you looked at the 10 most important characters in each, and if 600 of these stories (instead of the expected 1 + 10 + 44 + 117 = 172) revolved around at least 7 main male characters against 3 or fewer female main characters, wouldn't this feel forced and unnatural to you?
     
  23. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Probably need some more information on the plot. But if it's a journey story just axe one of your male characters and replace it with a female. You can add a romantic subplot or make her a sibling of someone -- that would create some nice tension and/or bonds. Or a love triangle. You don't necessarily have to go the romance route but if they are teenagers there is bound to be some flirting. What are your other character's personalities? Maybe play off that to see what's needed. If your mc is strong and heroic maybe you need someone a little more reckless or flaky or funny.
     
  24. Fiender_

    Fiender_ Active Member

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    When you're creating characters for your story, if your default gender is ALWAYS male, that could be a problem. It's something to work on improving.
    I think diversity and inclusion are nice, as someone who doesn't see his demographic represented often (and usually poorly when it is), but I think there is something to be said for "writing what is natural to you"... to a point. Diversity for "diversity's sake" can be very poorly done.
    Thing is, half of all humans are women. Even in repressed societies, there are women who rebel, excel, become community leaders, etc, so even if your fantasy world has "traditional" (gag) views of women, there are going to be ladies who are "main character" material. Training yourself to naturally include ladies is probably a good thing anyway, since half of your readers could potentially be them.

    As for how to add them, gender-swapping is a possibility. Without knowing more about your story or characters it's hard to say, but I imagine not too many of your guys have traits that force them to be men. Even if one of them is lecherous, it might be interesting to have a lady character objectify all of the men in the group, a nice little twist. Perhaps be on the lookout for an existing character whose skills are dexterity/skill or intelligence based, as a potential gender-swap candidate.
     
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