Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Women in Fiction: You're Doing It Wrong

Well, look: I just finished reading Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, and won't bore you with all of the particulars (my review is over hither.)  But there's a lot to it, good and bad, and this blog is nothing if not a Sarlacc pit for fiction.

Anyway, I'll keep this particular digestive contraction short.  Here is the thing: writers of the world, you do not have to have women in your books.  Really.  There are some truly fine first-rate stories in which women are nowhere in the picture: the Old Man and the Sea was exactly that, Bilbo Baggins got there and back again with nary a lady in sight, and I'll spare you the Moby Dick reference.  In short, there is nothing wrong with sporting an all-male cast.

BUT (and boy, it's a big but.)  If you're going to feature women in your story, and you want my dollars and my readership, I would kindly ask that you balance out your stupid and/or submissive women with some of the other kind.  Think of it like fixing your carbon footprint by planting some trees. 

"But," you may say, "writing women is HARD.  The delicate-flower thing isn't PC anymore, but everybody gives you grief if you just make a man with tits."

BOY do I hear that.  So here's what you do: go watch Firefly.  Doesn't take long; they canned it after like one season.  Watch and learn, and then, get feminine.  You might even like it.

Sir? I'd like you to take the helm, please. I need this man to tear all my clothes off.

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