Friday, April 8, 2016

You're Still Not Allow To Suck If Your Protagonist Is Female

Is there anything different in writing a female protagonist?

No. The sex of the protagonist does not remove the obligation of the writer to competently execute his craft in writing a narrative where said protagonist must somehow make a sacrifice to get what she wants. That sacrifice must be what allows her to overcome both her own flaws as well as the obstacles between her and what she wants.

Failure to execute this competently and properly is how you get those Mary Sue accusations. Emoting at the proper points doesn't count. Saying the expected sentiments at the expected points does count. Ticking off the acquisition and expenditure of Plot Coupons doesn't count. Looking like you are the common RPG player, when this is not a RPG, is an exhibition of incompetent writing.

Yes, even if you get paid fat sacks of cash for doing it. Plenty of rich incompetents out there. That's reality.

But if you want your books to keep selling for generations, even centuries, after you're dead and gone then you have to deliver, and that means your woman or girl has to be a real one, save specifically for the fantastic changes required- just like male protagonists. If you don't get this, then you don't grok your craft and you need remedial training.

This is why Leia resonates, and so many shrill shrews written by axe-grinding cultists clunk and get forgotten. She's still a real woman, and not a caricature or unreal fleshbot for agenda advancement (as Rey, verified by Disney, is). Hell, even Padme--despite Lucas's incompetence otherwise--is a real woman (just badly executed). (As for Jyn of Rogue One, that remains to be seen, and until I do I reserve judgement.)

That's what the real concern here is: that a female protagonist is going to be used as cover for a shit product.

Is that what you want? To be the party that throws an entire sex under the bus to cover your ass when you fail to do your job as expected? If so, then I don't want to know you- and shrieking "MYSOGYNY!" in response is you signalling your willingness to do so.

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