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How to Write a Good Female Character.
A good female character is tough to write. Writers, especially males, frequently get them wrong. There is a fixed mold that a female character should be caring, loving, and forgiving. And these traits usually make the character bland. While writing a good and compelling female character, we need to keep several things in mind. Here are a few points a writer can look out for a while crafting a female character.
Stay away from stereotypes:
There are several stereotypes about a female character in the literary world. A few examples of such stereotypes are Mary Sue, the damsel in distress, manic pixie dream girl, and many more. Writers should stay far away from them.
The female character should have a well-developed emotional depth. A character who is sensitive can be stubborn and headstrong. A character who's tough can have a softer side. There is no need to have a character with a single emotion. The characters can have a spectrum of emotions. It will make them more human rather than a fantasy.
Personality and flaws:
Taking Bella Swan from Twilight, we can see that her whole personality revolved around Edward. She had no significant personality on her own. That is where her character fails, and it happens with so many female characters. Their whole characteristic revolves around the male character. A female character needs a fully-fledged personality and should stand on her own. The writers should give them hobbies and quirks apart from the male character. Additionally, they should also have flaws. A flaw is what makes us humans. A flaw is what makes a character relatable and real. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice is a perfect example of a well-written female character. She was intelligent, headstrong, but she was also prejudicious. Her character had both positive and negative aspects, and that is why we love her.
A well-written character should have good character development. It shows the growth of a character and creates a lasting impression. Everyone learns from mistakes; why not the characters? Taking Elizabeth's example, at the end of her character development, she was much less prejudiced.
There is a harmful narrative prevalent in our society, and that is, a woman is also another woman's enemy. It channels into the literary field too. Every other female character tries to pull the main character down. Even the friendships written are toxic. If we compare the male friendships in stories with the female ones, we can see the stark difference. Male friendships are celebrated far more than female ones. It creates a harmful mindset for young girls who consume these stories. We need good female secondary characters in the literary world. Keeping that in mind while writing female characters is important.
The female characters are, dominantly, written as thin and petite. They have tiny waists, they eat less, and are light-skinned. There is a lack of representation of other female characters, especially heavier, disabled, or dark-skinned. The narrative of conventional beauty it creates can impact every young mind. Hence, the female character should be much more than petite and thin.
Writing a female character is uncomplicated when we make them human. A realistic female character has a well-developed personality with flaws and can come in any shape or size.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Manik Chaturmutha