<data:blog.pageTitle/>

This Page

has moved to a new address:

http://www.bcmatthews.com

Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
----------------------------------------------- Blogger Template Style Name: Rounders Date: 27 Feb 2004 ----------------------------------------------- */ body { background:#aba; margin:0; padding:20px 10px; text-align:center; font:x-small/1.5em "Trebuchet MS",Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; color:#333; font-size/* */:/**/small; font-size: /**/small; } /* Page Structure ----------------------------------------------- */ /* The images which help create rounded corners depend on the following widths and measurements. If you want to change these measurements, the images will also need to change. */ @media all { #content { width:740px; margin:0 auto; text-align:left; } #main { width:485px; float:left; background:#fff url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_main_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; margin:15px 0 0; padding:0 0 10px; color:#000; font-size:97%; line-height:1.5em; } #main2 { float:left; width:100%; background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_main_top.gif") no-repeat left top; padding:10px 0 0; } #main3 { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/rails_main.gif") repeat-y; padding:0; } #sidebar { width:240px; float:right; margin:15px 0 0; font-size:97%; line-height:1.5em; } } @media handheld { #content { width:90%; } #main { width:100%; float:none; background:#fff; } #main2 { float:none; background:none; } #main3 { background:none; padding:0; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } } /* Links ----------------------------------------------- */ a:link { color:#258; } a:visited { color:#666; } a:hover { color:#c63; } a img { border-width:0; } /* Blog Header ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #header { background:#456 url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_cap_top.gif") no-repeat left top; margin:0 0 0; padding:8px 0 0; color:#fff; } #header div { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_cap_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 15px 8px; } } @media handheld { #header { background:#456; } #header div { background:none; } } #blog-title { margin:0; padding:10px 30px 5px; font-size:200%; line-height:1.2em; } #blog-title a { text-decoration:none; color:#fff; } #description { margin:0; padding:5px 30px 10px; font-size:94%; line-height:1.5em; } /* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ .date-header { margin:0 28px 0 43px; font-size:85%; line-height:2em; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#357; } .post { margin:.3em 0 25px; padding:0 13px; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:1px 0; } .post-title { margin:0; font-size:135%; line-height:1.5em; background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_arrow.gif") no-repeat 10px .5em; display:block; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:0 1px 1px; padding:2px 14px 2px 29px; color:#333; } a.title-link, .post-title strong { text-decoration:none; display:block; } a.title-link:hover { background-color:#ded; color:#000; } .post-body { border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:0 1px 1px; border-bottom-color:#fff; padding:10px 14px 1px 29px; } html>body .post-body { border-bottom-width:0; } .post p { margin:0 0 .75em; } p.post-footer { background:#ded; margin:0; padding:2px 14px 2px 29px; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:1px; border-bottom:1px solid #eee; font-size:100%; line-height:1.5em; color:#666; text-align:right; } html>body p.post-footer { border-bottom-color:transparent; } p.post-footer em { display:block; float:left; text-align:left; font-style:normal; } a.comment-link { /* IE5.0/Win doesn't apply padding to inline elements, so we hide these two declarations from it */ background/* */:/**/url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_comment.gif") no-repeat 0 45%; padding-left:14px; } html>body a.comment-link { /* Respecified, for IE5/Mac's benefit */ background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_comment.gif") no-repeat 0 45%; padding-left:14px; } .post img { margin:0 0 5px 0; padding:4px; border:1px solid #ccc; } blockquote { margin:.75em 0; border:1px dotted #ccc; border-width:1px 0; padding:5px 15px; color:#666; } .post blockquote p { margin:.5em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments { margin:-25px 13px 0; border:1px dotted #ccc; border-width:0 1px 1px; padding:20px 0 15px 0; } #comments h4 { margin:0 0 10px; padding:0 14px 2px 29px; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; font-size:120%; line-height:1.4em; color:#333; } #comments-block { margin:0 15px 0 9px; } .comment-data { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_comment.gif") no-repeat 2px .3em; margin:.5em 0; padding:0 0 0 20px; color:#666; } .comment-poster { font-weight:bold; } .comment-body { margin:0 0 1.25em; padding:0 0 0 20px; } .comment-body p { margin:0 0 .5em; } .comment-timestamp { margin:0 0 .5em; padding:0 0 .75em 20px; color:#666; } .comment-timestamp a:link { color:#666; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .paging-control-container { float: right; margin: 0px 6px 0px 0px; font-size: 80%; } .unneeded-paging-control { visibility: hidden; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #profile-container { background:#cdc url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_prof_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; margin:0 0 15px; padding:0 0 10px; color:#345; } #profile-container h2 { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_prof_top.gif") no-repeat left top; padding:10px 15px .2em; margin:0; border-width:0; font-size:115%; line-height:1.5em; color:#234; } } @media handheld { #profile-container { background:#cdc; } #profile-container h2 { background:none; } } .profile-datablock { margin:0 15px .5em; border-top:1px dotted #aba; padding-top:8px; } .profile-img {display:inline;} .profile-img img { float:left; margin:0 10px 5px 0; border:4px solid #fff; } .profile-data strong { display:block; } #profile-container p { margin:0 15px .5em; } #profile-container .profile-textblock { clear:left; } #profile-container a { color:#258; } .profile-link a { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_profile.gif") no-repeat 0 .1em; padding-left:15px; font-weight:bold; } ul.profile-datablock { list-style-type:none; } /* Sidebar Boxes ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { .box { background:#fff url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_side_top.gif") no-repeat left top; margin:0 0 15px; padding:10px 0 0; color:#666; } .box2 { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_side_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 13px 8px; } } @media handheld { .box { background:#fff; } .box2 { background:none; } } .sidebar-title { margin:0; padding:0 0 .2em; border-bottom:1px dotted #9b9; font-size:115%; line-height:1.5em; color:#333; } .box ul { margin:.5em 0 1.25em; padding:0 0px; list-style:none; } .box ul li { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_arrow_sm.gif") no-repeat 2px .25em; margin:0; padding:0 0 3px 16px; margin-bottom:3px; border-bottom:1px dotted #eee; line-height:1.4em; } .box p { margin:0 0 .6em; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { clear:both; margin:0; padding:15px 0 0; } @media all { #footer div { background:#456 url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_cap_top.gif") no-repeat left top; padding:8px 0 0; color:#fff; } #footer div div { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_cap_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 15px 8px; } } @media handheld { #footer div { background:#456; } #footer div div { background:none; } } #footer hr {display:none;} #footer p {margin:0;} #footer a {color:#fff;} /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { padding:0 15px 0; }

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fear of the Mary Sue

©ritically drawn by artist B.C. Matthews
Wikipedia: A Mary Sue (sometimes just Sue), in literary criticism and particularly in fanfiction, is a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as a wish-fulfillment fantasy for the author or reader.

I was reading on Kate Griffin's blog that she has an innate distrust of writing from the POV of female characters, for fear that writing in her own gender will create characters that are simplistic, one dimensional, wish fulfillment caricatures of herself.

I thought I was the only one who had this fear...

Many of my previous critique partners have mentioned that I write almost exclusively from the male POV, and many of my close friends who've been brave enough to read some of my work have commented on it too. Don't there need to be more strong female characters that women can identify with? Why aren't I pumping out kick-ass heroines at the rate that most people read them? Don't I like being a woman? What's the deal? Where's my "this is what a feminist looks like" t-shirt?

The truth is that having a female heroine has always made me nervous. Maybe it harkens back to my teen days of reading fan fiction, and reading all of these utterly stunning, beautiful women who have legions of male admirers, while still being a flawless hero. I'd never liked those characters, because as a teen girl, I hated those types of girls. I've read these heroines in published fiction too, and it annoys me more than anything.

The Mary Sue. The beautiful, the talented, the perfect, the always beloved.  

But even more than that, I've become somewhat irritated by female characters in my now preferred genre—urban fantasy. Many of the woman characters equate ramped up hypersexuality and skin-tight BDSM leather and gun-toting as a "strong" or "empowered" woman (I'm not anti-gun toting characters or anti-leather by any stretch of the imagination). Look, I know it's great to own your sexuality as a brilliant, modern woman, but does it have to be the be-all-end-all of our female characters?

Maybe it's that out of all of my favorite fictional characters, that there aren't many women. Maybe it's a personal flaw, or maybe it's that there aren't enough great heroines in the more current fiction I read, or that they're always secondary characters, but yeah, I can count my favorite female characters on one hand. Usually they wind up being a) not the sexiest thing on two stiletto points, b) willing to take a serious hit, whether physically or emotionally, and bounce back. 

Many times in an effort to not be have a weak female character, authors seem to go the other extreme, which is more obnoxious to me than a weak, one dimensional character. It seems like sometimes they're so busy being an ultra-strong woman they don't have enough time to simply be real.

In an effort to create characters one more step away from myself, I usually make my protagonist male. Of course, that's ridiculous. You draw something from yourself for every character, so why should my female characters be any different?

Go to hell, Mary Sue. 

2 Comments:

At July 28, 2012 at 9:40 PM , OpenID danthonybrown.me said...

I have a similar and opposite issue - I have an over abundance of female characters. My male characters are usually not strictly masculine, since I dislike stereotypical stud/macho dudes that are popular in romance stories. Down with Mary Sue! And her male counter-part!

 
At July 28, 2012 at 10:30 PM , Blogger B.C. Matthews said...

Yeah, I also have a problem with the super stud/Alpha male stereotype too. Yes, down with Gary Stu!

I've been reading a bunch of Steampunk lately, where the female characters are always both boldly living within Victorian social gender restrictions while also ignoring and flaunting them. I'm finding it rather fun.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home