Mol (mollyringle) wrote,

"Unlikable" characters and how they're rather too often female

I greatly admired this post in defense of the "unlikable" female character.

"We forgive our heroes even when they’re drunken, aimless brutes or flawed noir figures who smoke too much and can’t hold down a steady relationship. In truth, we both sympathize with and celebrate these heroes... But what we love about many male heroes – their complexity, their confidence, their occasional bouts of selfish whim –become, in female heroes, marks of the dreaded 'unlikeable character.'"

Fits with my experience with fiction reviews. I write about flawed humans, male and female, but when reviewers complain about not finding one of my characters likable enough, nine times out of ten it's a female character they're picking on. And not for lack of flawed male ones. It's an interesting experiment, or challenge, to ask yourself when reading, "What would I think of this character if s/he were the opposite sex? And why?"

In related news, my own novel-writing is going well. Just emailed my beta readers a draft of book 2 of the Chrysomelia Stories (that is, the Persephone series), which will likely be titled Underworld's Daughter. Hurray! It does bring in some new characters, most of them female, and I'm hoping I've made them complex enough that you are free to find them likable or unlikable as you see fit.
Tags: linkage, persephone's orchard, sex, underworld's daughter, writing

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