How To Make A Woman

Sugar, spice and everything nice, right? That’s how little girls are made or so the nursery rhyme tells us. But when creating a female character what do you need?

Well first off, no two women are alike and so there is no set formula to create the ‘perfect’ female character. There are some things that are general to women, for example, women tend to be more focused on emotional things, women remember how something made us feel, women tend to worry about how other people feel (at least most of the time…), women tend to care more about their appearances than men, they usually will be the first to ask if someone else is okay, they’re more likely to emotionally manipulate someone rather than try to physically intimidate, more likely to use poison than a knife. Now remember this is just in a general sense.

The truth of the matter is that the more you focus on making your character seem like a real woman, the more likely you are to make her seem like some caricature. Some things to avoid:

Ridiculous appearances: a Triple F bra size and a 32 inch waist is not realistic. You want realistic? A woman with a chest that size probably has a terrible time finding clothes, spends her life in pain and likely will have spine damage from the sheer weight of her chest.

Make a giggling, brainless love interest. Don’t insult your lead character by giving them a partner who can’t hold their weight as an equal.

Do:

Use real women as an inspiration. (I don’t mean the women from the movies, look to history, read journals/diaries, talk to the women in your life, read novels with strong, realistic characters (hinthint Most romance novels are not it. At least not older romance novels))

Be aware of how much physical description you use. It’s easy to get carried away with describing your female character, particularly if she’s a sexy beast, but don’t go overboard.

The most important thing to remember is that there are differences between men and women but the main thing to understand is that a female character takes just as much time and development as a male character. Don’t think you can throw some boobs on a page and it’ll bounce with the readers.

 

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2 Comments »

  1. Eric Said:

    I always knew that old ‘sugar-and-spice’ line was B.S!

  2. Laura W. Said:

    “read novels with strong, realistic characters”

    Good advice. But. Why this obsession with creating “strong” female characters? Realistic characters *aren’t* strong, at least not all the time. You can have a weak female character without being sexist. It doesn’t mean you’re suggesting that that’s the way a woman should be. And if that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, remember that if she starts out strong, there’s no room for her to grow. Don’t know if you’ve read Game of Thrones, but Daenerys and Sansa are perfect examples of this.


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