Following on from the last tip, this tip will also deal with character creation and balancing. More specifically, it will deal with female characters.
Gone are the days when a female characters’ only role in the story was to be rescued (e.g. Sleeping Beauty). These days a story with this element is considered backwards and outdated.
Instead, we have strong female characters who can take care of themselves, such as Princess Fiona from Shrek and Anna from Frozen.
So, when writing, it is important to keep this new ideology in mind. You can maintain the stereotype, subvert it (for example having a female character who initially seems helpless but turns out to be powerful and self-sufficient), change it (have a male character occupy the “damsel” role), or deny it (have most or all female characters be independent and not reliant on a man to save them).
Naturally, I followed this rule when writing Awakening, hence Alza’s inherently anti-damsel role. Instead, she is the most powerful and self-sufficient character in the group, and is often saving Barsch or Kingston.
To summarize, it is up to you to follow, subvert, change or deny the stereotypical damsel in distress. Additionally, this advice should be followed with any and all stereotypes. Play with people’s expectations, and they will find your writing more interesting. Follow the same old stereotypes, and they will leave your work on the bookshelf.
Thank you for listening! The next writing tip, “Think Forward” will be coming soon, look forward to it!
And remember, Never Lose Your Stride!