over at Bitter Gertrude a little post has gone viral: A Common Problem I See In Plays by Women Playwrights. It's Not What You Think.
And it really wasn't what I was expecting to read. Reactive female characters, women who were central characters but...not. And the parallel between reality. It's true. And in thinking through my catalogue of TV and Movie characters (which is far more exhaustive than Plays), I can see the trend throughout, notice immediately why certain female characters grabbed my attention. It's a great post, and one worth reading.
But, for me, it was the last little bit that got me.
"(PS to the men out there writing strong, compelling, active roles for women: Thank you. The women actors of the world also thank you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have the right to write stories for women because you don’t have “authenticity.” Jesus Timberlake Christ, do they really want there to be FEWER roles for women?)"
Once upon a time I did a little post talking about how I was somewhat timid to write female roles. The main recap is that I felt like I couldn't capture the essence of a strong female character. And, now I see at least one problem in some of the dialogue I've written for women. In attempting to make it seem "real," I've more or less created female characters that were amalgamations of women I know. They're never one particular person, a little bit from Friend A, a little from Friend B, etc. But, in doing so, I was watering down each person's attitude.
And making them more reactive than they should be.
So, I've still got quite a bit of work to do. I'm, at best, a novice writer in so many ways. But at least now I've been told, in writing, to get over the "authenticity" bit. Back to sketching a strong, less reactive, more central character for this opera