Earlier, at least once, I made reference to a blog post that I was planning on writing about agency, particularly for my female characters. Well, here we are.
So far (and I'm seven chapters in) we've had two damsels in distress (over three events), the abduction of a female, two "that's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen"s, one romantic dreaming of "the girl who doesn't even know he exists" and a lot of cringing. Of the female interactions in the story, only one character seems to have any agency, and she's a complete figure of mystery.
Never mind the fact that one of my characters is odious and hard to read, I think the person I was when I wrote this chapter (please let it be a long, long time ago) thought it was endearing. I thought he was relatable. Who the hell were you, Liam Johnstone?
Anyway, what I think I'm trying to get at is that the me that I was when I wrote this didn't really know how to write women. They served to move the men's stories forward, through kidnapping, or through being beaten unconscious to give the heroes targets for their wrath. They didn't really have much to do of their own, for their own ends. Even in some of the better chapters, the most my one female character does is learn, and the most the other one does is get pregnant. Oh my god.
Moving forward, and it's been difficult moving forward with all these fancy decorations at a sausage party, I feel like I can do better. I feel like the story isn't total garbage (I was captivated, remember), and I think that the me that I am right now can find patience for the foolish little gerbil that I used to be.
I started re-writing one character's back-story last year sometime (or three years ago, I'm not sure. Time runs funny out in the country) I'm sure I'll find cringe-worthy things in there, but they're definitely better than someone who just sits and takes what the men-folk give her.
I'm excited to see what comes out of all of this, because what's going in is sometimes really hard to take.