12 Pet Peeves about Female Characters.

In the world of stories and books, not all characters are created equal. Some are awesome and leave marks in the reader’s mind, soul, and existence.
Others just annoy.

So here are:

“12 Pet Peeves about Female Characters”,

or “I’m here to complain about things”.

1. The Damsel in distress ~
Now, don’t get me wrong, not all characters have to slice and dice and save the day. Some get captured and need saving. But if their whole purpose in the story is to wait passively for someone to save them, then no. Just no. Even people with no fighting chance would fight to save their lives.

2. The Questionnaire ~
She is the kind of character, who is there just so the audience can know stuff. She is a constant question mark, always asking about things, even things she should already know. Her only purpose in the story is exposition.

3. The Unique Girl ~
She is nothing you’ve ever seen before. She is unlike anyone else. She is not like other girls for sure. In a planet with billions of people, she is a special lil snowflake of uniqueness, and no one can measure about to her individuality.
And how did she come to be like this? By being like all other girls.

4. The Pedestal Girl ~
She is amazing, she has value, she is someone you’d aspire to be. Now, I know she sounds a lot like the girl before, but at least the Unique Girl does something with her life.
The Pedestal Girl is just there to be valuable just because she has female bits. She does nothing to prove her value, her worth, or even her usefulness to the story. She just is. And she is amazing for it.

5. The Flawless Klutz ~
She is beauty, she is grace, she trips on air.
She is the girl who is so clumsy for no apparent reason. She just is. She can’t hold a stack of books without dropping them, she can’t drink anything without spilling it, she can’t walk without falling flat on her face in front of her crush.
Maybe she should just leave saving the world to someone else and go see her doctor.

6. The Fixer ~
She’s met the love of her life. He’s hot, handsome, and with enough psychological baggage to have a sane person running for the hills.
Alas, no. She’ll stick by him. She’s there to fix him, to save him.
But mostly, she’s there for all the abuse she’s going to endure. Because she’s there for the single purpose of rehabilitating this barbarian to a decent human being.

7. The Ugly Beauty ~
Epic poems are written every day about her beauty. Songs are sang about her grace and her elegance. How this goddess is allowed to live among the mortals is unknown.
Somehow, she appeals to all. Men, women, all the genders in between. Nobody has unique tastes. They all just love her.
And yet, she believes she’s ugly. She’s a hideous abomination, a freak of nature. She’s not humble, she’s whinny and right on the verge of stupid.

8. The Hottie ~
She’s overflowing with sexuality. Everything she does is sexy. It doesn’t matter what it is, she’ll do it in the sexiest way possible. Whether that’s attending a fancy party, or disembowelling a corpse. The results are one and the same. She’s oozing with sex-appeal 24/7.

9. The Badass ~
She knows the art of the sword, she can take down a whole army by herself, she can do backflips while drinking her morning coffee without spilling a drop.
But the reader will see none of that. The reader is told of her badassery, but sees none of it. She’s badass in name only, and does little to justify it. Not all characters have to go around murdering people, nor do they all need to be badass in the same way. But if you are writing a badass assassin/spy/murderer/whatever, you better commit to it and keep her in character.

10. The Old Woman ~
If you are not young, if you are a bit old in years, there are only two ways to go. The adorable grandma, or the jealous, vindictive bitch.
No way for an older female character to be content and happy with her life, to be independent, to have goals and aspirations, to not be jealous of her daughter’s youth and beauty, or to not be there just to appear cute and the answer a very important question: What are these kids going to eat while saving the world?

11. The Virgin ~
She’s not only a virgin, but she’s also pure. She knows nothing of naughty stuff, nothing of sex. Not even her humour is dirty, and she is always so shocked when people make improper comments.
She’s a pure, white snowflake, there to remind us every single step of the way of her purity, of her virginity.
There to be a Damsel in Distress 99,9% of the time.

12. The Doormat ~
She has a non-existent personality. She’s there to be pulled left and right by the choices of the antagonist and the other characters. She has no original thought in her head, no motivation or initiative.
She’s just there to serve purposes and close gaps. And even though there might be people like her in real life, we require our protagonists and our characters to have a little more drive. Or at least, to have some character growth.
If they start as a doormat, they shouldn’t stay a doormat by the end of the story.

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WordBound: Wed, Jan 18

( I’m going to use the two protagonists of my current manuscript to write this prompt.)

“There is a door,” Teresa said. “It is closed.”
Kalith peeked around the corner before he turned to her. “And?”
“That’s it. That’s all,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders that sent his blood boiling.
“Did you try the door?” he asked her. He got nothing but a blank stare. “You didn’t.”
“I didn’t.”
Their eyes locked, neither of them moved.
“Are you going to?” he asked with a wild gesture of his hand.
Teresa huffed and turned around. “Fine. It’s not gonna lead anywhere, even if it’s not locked.”
How or why he was helping her, he still wasn’t sure. The attitude wasn’t helping for one. Nor did her need to defy him every step of the way.
“It won’t budge,” Teresa said right behind him, and Kalith jumped in his skin.
“Can you not creep up behind me?” he said through gritted teeth.
“No.”
He could leave his post to check the door, but he did not trust her enough to watch their back. Running away was hard. Running away with an annoying teenager was twice as hard.
With his options limited, he had no other choice. “Stay here. Make sure no one jumps us,” he said. He got a curt nod as an answer.
The door was at the end of the hallway. It was carved out of a dark, almost black wood, the surface smooth and unblemished. Kalith twisted the handle, but nothing happened. Even trying to force it open didn’t work.
But there was something else that could.
Patterns glowed with a light blue colour on his arms, the air sizzled around him with energy, with magic.
The lock clicked, the handle turned, and the door opened.

 

 

Writers write.

A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing. ~ Eugene Ionesco

Writers write. Sometimes we have a notebook, and a pen in front of us. Sometimes we have nothing but loose scraps of paper, others we have a keyboard. But we write. We always write.

Even when we are not writing.

We write when we are riding the bus, with our headphones on, and a little fight scene is playing out in our head. We make up dialogues between our characters long before we put the characters to page. We know that our protagonists like ice-cream, but only the fruit flavours. We’ve been thinking about our protagonist all day after all. We’ve been interacting with them in our head for ours, to the point we start to notice that when they are nervous, they bite their nails, but only in their left hand, that sometimes when they feel too low, they won’t shower for days, or go out, just to feel guilty about it later.

We write, even when we are not writing.

All the times between our little writing sessions, are our brainstorming times. That’s when true magic happens, when we learn our characters, when we learn our setting, and find out why our antagonist is being such an asshole lately.

Because, you see, we are in love even with that antagonist. We know why they are the way they are, the reason behind their every decision, no matter how cruel, and unkind they might appear. We know what hurt them, what broke them, what made them laugh again for the first time.

Sometimes, those things never make it to page. We think of our stories and our writing, and yet so little sees the light of day. Or the light of a lamp. But still, these are things that help us grow as writers, that allow us to know all the little nooks and crannies of our world, so when the reader finally gets to meet our characters, and read our story, they are welcomed to a new world, pulsing, and vibrant.

Writers write.

Always.

P. S. : Everything you do and say will be used in a story at a later time.

Self-doubt is our enemy.

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~ Sylvia Plath

As artists, we spend so much time alone in our own heads, sometimes it’s easy to get lost, to lose track of what’s important and what’s not. We are so critical of our art and our every decision, that it’s easy to turn that critical eye on ourselves, and turn savage.

We are so far more brutal with ourselves, than we are with anyone else. We hurt us with words far more cruel than anyone else can concoct. We are well-versed in the art of tearing ourselves down.

Self-doubt is the worst illness for an artist, for our creativity. And it is an illness that we always carry, waiting to strike, to rise up whenever we are at our most vulnerable.

“I’m not good enough.” 

“This has been done before.”

“Nobody will care, what’s the point.”

“This is childish.”

There is a difference though in being critical, and in letting self-doubt consume us. There is a difference, because the first means we are self-aware, that we realise our mistakes, and we try to fix them, that we make an effort to improve and strengthen ourselves.

Self-doubt just means we are riddled with insecurities, we carry the views of others, of society, and our own on our back like a cross. Self-doubt never reflects reality. We sit in front of a mirror, and we see a distorted image. We are right then and there our very worst enemy.

Self-doubt is nothing more than a rotten feeling that settles in our gut and takes over. It grips our heart and our mind and it won’t let go unless we make it. And it’s hard. It’s so hard to start seeing ourselves and our art as something with value, something that is worth it and should be here. And yet, nobody is going to build us up, unless we do it first.

We need to be our biggest fan, our strongest supporter, our own little generator of happiness.

We need to be the cake, so when others come, they can be the icing.

But we need to be our own cake, our own confidence, our own happiness.

Book Review: Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward

The second book in the “Black Dagger Brotherhood” series follows the story of Mary and Rhage.
We still get a glimpse of Beth and Wrath as the story goes on and we are also introduced to some new characters, or see more from characters we’ve already met.
The author doesn’t need to set up so much of the world anymore, which gives her plenty of time to focus on the relationship between Rhage and Mary, a relationship that seems doomed from the start for too many issues. Both protagonists are saddled with their own personal problems and issues, that are enough to tear any normal couple to pieces.
But not them. They have their ups and downs, but they power through it.

Rhage is a character that is described as drop-dead-gorgeious, and he carries a beast inside that bursts out whenever he hits a low point, whether that is due to anger, or pain.
He is also though, a funny character. With no filter between his mouth and his brain, Rhage gives the reader some of the best lines in the book. He is also romantic and lovable, and he wants nothing more than to ditch all the casual sex he has to do to keep the beast at bay, for a meaningful relationship.

Mary on the other hand is a character who has had nothing but hardships in her life, and those hardships have left her on the floor, a mess.
She has no self-esteem, she sees nothing good in her, and she can’t even comprehend how a man like Rhage can have any short of interest in her.
She is though, a deeply compassionate character, a strong, independent character that reaches out to help the other people around her, whether that is John Mathew, Zsadist, or Rhage himself.
She has an incredible inner strength and she is a very relatable character. Even when she does the sometimes typical heroine thing, where she pushes the hero away, she has a valid reason for it, and a reason I can relate with and understand.
Nobody wants to be a burden or pitied after all.

It’s a very good story, albeit a sad story. Some points get heavy and depressing, but I can’t see how the story could be any different, with how many issues the protagonists have.
It’s a worthy continuation of the BDB series, a book that makes you want to read more, and get to know the characters and the world better.

If you want to find the book, and support me, you can find it in Book Depository.

Dark Lover | Lover Eternal | Lover Awakened |

Show me the moonlight.

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~ Anton Chekhov

Writing, for me, in its essence is about evoking emotion in the reader. A good story will get us to feel, it will tag on our heartstrings. Whether it makes us angry, happy, upset, or if we hurl the book half-way across the room in frustration.

The emotion doesn’t matter, as long as we feel. And we can’t feel unless we are immersed in the story. We need a world as alive and colourful as our own, characters as close to us as family and friends, strife as close and important as the ones we face on our own.

We can’t do that unless we watch the sun cast highlights in the love – interest’s hair, if we don’t catch that twitch of anger in the protagonist when he’s faced with his enemy. We can’t, unless we hear our favourite character hum, when he’s cooking  his way too spicy mac-n-cheese.

We need to see the world, to breathe the world. We need to feel along with the protagonist. We read stories because we want to be immersed, because we want to be transported.

Stories are made of emotions.

And the only way we feel emotions in a story, is if we see them.

We want the butterflies in the stomach, the blurry eyes from tears, the shudders of pleasure, the restlessness of excitement.

We need the emotions to fall in love with the story.

We need to see.

Or else, why read at all?

 

You’ll find a way.

If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. – Jim Rohn

It is easy to be scared, to make up excuses, and hide from something you want. If you don’t try, then when you fail to achieve your goals, it’s because you didn’t try. It’s a scary thought, to know you’ve given it your all, and you still didn’t make it.

But it’s worth it.

If you want something with all your heart, then you have to find a way to do it, you have to find a way to get up again, no matter how many times you fall down. Dust the dirt off your clothes and get back on your feet because that is the only thing you can do again and again without fail. You can keep trying, you can keep giving it your all.

What other choice do you have anyway?

It’s easy to be scared, to make excuses, and hide from something you want. It’s far more rewarding to try, and even if you fail, you’ll know you gave it your best. It’s far more rewarding to know you’ve given it your all, whether you made it or not.

~ Harris