The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Very tired again. There's not really any time for writing today, but still I'm cramming in just a little before I have to turn to other things. It's like chipping away at a boulder, but at least I can say I chipped.

I'm greatly concerned about the girl character, whom I will have to figure out at some point, and probably soon. I can't do girl characters. I don't know why. They just turn out "unlikeable" to people who, er have money to buy mss with. It's very puzzling, because I swear I turned in one ms where the male character was a lying, cheating, stealing, swearing bully. So who was unlikeable? The girl character, because she was "prissy." I know some of the problem has to be my writing and the way I presented her, but I also think the world is really a screwed up place where prissy is a cardinal sin compared to being downright mean and criminal. And I can't help but think that the world has a screwed up view of women, too--that a female must have certain personality traits to be acceptable. Boys can steal and hit and lie, but g*d forbid a girl should want things clean or tidy. Because, you know, females never do that in real life.

What's really weird--and I may ask some writer friends for opinions on this--is that in my second book, Damage, I had alternating viewpoints during one stage in the process. One viewpoint was Austin, the eventual sole POV character. The other was Heather, his girlfriend. Heather was criticized as being unlikeable. Which she is, because she's selfish and conceited. But here's the thing: when I took her parts out and recast them through Austin's POV, she became bearable. Not any more likable, but not such a turnoff that it ruined the book. Okay--but why????? She was doing the exact same things she was doing from her own POV. She was thinking the same things, had the same motivation. So why was she acceptable from the guy's POV, but not on her own?

H*ll if I know.

So I've got this girl character now, in this WIP, who has the same problems as all my girl characters. She's unlikeable. People (who have money to buy mss) don't want to read about her. When I take out the stuff that pins her down and makes her real, she becomes a cipher. But the stuff that makes her real is the stuff nobody likes. I dunno.

This is going to have to be sorted out. There's just no way around it. But I'll be d*mned if I'm going to write a girl character that is conventionally "acceptable," with conventional flaws, just so that I can sell this ms. I might do it for w-f-h, but not for this. I'll spend the rest of my life sweeping the floors at Taco Bell with my head held high, and take the unfinished ms with me to my grave.

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