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Rubber boots and tennis balls

Forums Fiction Characters Rubber boots and tennis balls

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 36 total)
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  • #143674
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @joelle-stone

    I thought. My mind went blank. I searched. I spotted rubber boots. Tennis balls entered my mind. I created a title.

    The End

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #143677
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    Ah. *nods wisely* The story of every good title.

    "For love is strong as death." -God

    #143707
    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

    @erynne – I’m gonna pop in for a quick bit – I skimmed the previous comments and just let me say, stick with Jo March and see her to the end… in the original novel, I agree with @rose-colored-fancy completely. Jo doesn’t hate marriage because she believes her sister shouldn’t be under the authority of a man or that marriage is bad. She’s afraid of losing her sister. She has difficulty understanding sometimes that people can have dreams that are different than hers, but ultimately she is basically afraid of marriage and a relationship. Then she meets a man who shows her the right way that relationships can be and in the end she settles down as a wife and mother and still has her dreams of being independent and a successful author fulfilled. If you read the next books, Little Men and Jo’s Boys, never once does Jo regret her decision to marry and start a family. She’s a loving mother and wife, and at the same time a great authoress.

    My words of advice on strong kick-butt female characters is focus on the ‘character’. I know it’s appealing to have women who can hold their own and win battles and kick-butt, but in the end what I think truly draws women and girls to strong female characters is their character. The kick-butt-ing is basically superficial. It may show physical strength, but where your female can truly shine is character strength. Most of your readers cannot kick-butt like a WWE champion or archeress-warrior, so while it can be exciting to see females destroying their enemies, it’s harder to connect. If you give your female strong character instead of just strong muscles, and focus on that, I’ll bet you everyone will end up loving her better.

    Strong character can be shown in so many different ways, and I could never, nor am I smart enough to, give lectures on all the points. But some of the things you can do to show strong character is the way she handles situations, the way she handles relationships with other people, the way she deals with difficulties, and the way she deals with herself. She shouldn’t be perfect, like a moral compass that never goes off course… we’re all human. But if she has a strong moral rock to stand on, and even when she falls and fails and plunges into the depths of the despair, if she gets back up and goes on, that’s what pulls readers in. We’re not all going to go to battle against a dark lord, but we are all going to battle against everything in life that tries to keep us down. Our moral struggles are how we relate to characters on the deepest level.

    Katniss Everdeen for example… I think she’s an AMAZING strong female lead without having too much emphasis on her kicking butt. (NOTE – I have only read the books, not seen the movies. My mom has done both and believes the books to be superior) In the beginning she is a skilled archer, and they highlight this. However, she herself recognizes in the arena her physical inferiority to almost all the boys and acknowledges that if she were in hand to hand with them, she doesn’t have the talent to win. She scores most of her victories by outsmarting and outthinking her opponents.

    In the second book she improves her fighting skills and yet still acknowledges that she wouldn’t make it through without the individual talents and strengths of everyone else in her group. (One of the most annoying strong females is the one who cannot admit that she can’t do everything herself.) She calls on the strengths of her friends to help her and I think that’s an amazing show of character – recognizing that you need other people to succeed.

    Originally Katniss is averse to the idea of marriage either to Peeta or Gale, but I don’t blame her one bit for her reasons… she isn’t adverse because she doesn’t want to be under a man’s authority or thinks that marriage is a shackle. She’s afraid of admitting to loving someone else and afraid to bring children into the twisted world she lives in. In the end she marries and is happy as a wife and mother. She recognizes that Peeta completes her in a way Gale couldn’t. He is the contrast and completion she needs. She doesn’t view him as a master or someone who now has her chained for the rest of her life, but someone who loves her, supports her, completes her, and helps her be her best.

    In the third book it really is emphasized how little Katniss has control over the situation. Her own treatment and training, the attacks, what role she plays in the rebellion, even what she’s supposed to say and not say are all being controlled by other people. She’s spiraling into mental illness and depression, suicidal thoughts and panic attacks, weeks where she wishes she was dead, weeks where she gives up. But she pulls through. This is her strong female character. She sees her friends and what they’ve lost, she sees what they’re fighting for, she sees what everyone else believes they can accomplish, and she fights for it with everything she has. Rather than believe that she is kick-butt awesome and can do everything, she is afraid and doubting at every step, yet she draws on the strength and belief of her friends and her own desire to bring about change and keeps fighting for what is right. In short, Katniss may be awesome with a bow and arrow, but what really drew me to her is the way she faces her struggles, almost drowns in the difficulties like we all do sometimes, but pushes through and comes out on top, still fighting. So much of the books actually highlight her weaknesses and inferior skills in the arena, but what makes her amazing is her character and the journey she goes through. That’s what makes a strong female a strong female. Her morals, her character, and the way she walks through this world.

    And… wow. Oh my gosh I am so sorry that was so long. If you can’t tell, The Hunger Games is one of my favorite book series and I will defend it until the day I die. XD I hope you found a bit of my ramblings helpful. 🙂

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

    #143727
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @anne-of-lothlorien

    Wow…that was definitely the most helpful thing I’ve gotten told so far. (No offense to anyone, y’all have all had great responses)

    I’m about 1\4 way through Little Women, so like I said before I was almost completely speaking from the movies. I love Jo but after hearing what everyone has said, they definitely ruined her character in the movies by making her as feminine as she is portrayed as. In the movies she was totally against Meg getting married because she “didn’t need a man” so I guess I’m really gullible to Hollywood 😂

    Katniss is amazing and I relate to her a lot. I’ve read the first book and I totally plan on reading the rest. Take your mom’s word for it, the books are golden. What you said about her was extremely helpful. Thank you so much!

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #143871
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    I often see the problem of fantasy where authors find it a necessity to assume that the problems of this world are directly transferred without considering cultural background.

    Yesss. This habit is so annoying.

    Romance is great, and sometimes the best thing for the story, but it’d be cool if some characters were still single by the end of the series. Either because they haven’t found the right person, or because they’re not ready to marry, or they have something they need to finish first.

    Even as a hopeless romantic, I agree with this. (Maybe because I’m a hopeless romantic, actually.) Especially in YA where the characters are still really young and maybe haven’t even figured out their worldviews yet, or come to acknowledge their recurring shortcomings, or…

    Yeah, the idea of finding your true love at seventeen is romantic, but is it really helpful or edifying? Not always. It can be, just as there can be people in real life who meet their future spouses when they’re young. It’s not always a bad thing to show. But more balance would be nice.

    I’m also quite conservative, and I know there’s others out there but it’s hard to find those who aren’t scared to admit what they stand for.

    Yeah, it is. :/

    Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.

    #143880
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @r-m-archer

    Ah, I too am a helpless romantic and I agree with you. Did you mention you were on Pinterest or was that someone else??

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #143884
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    @erynne I don’t think I’ve mentioned it specifically, but I am on Pinterest.

    Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.

    #143885
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @r-m-archer

    Great, I’ll follow you. What’s your username?

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #143896
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    @erynne

    Mine’s @alpinewriter. What’s yours? 🙂

    Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.

    #143897
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @r-m-archer

    Yesss. This habit is so annoying.

    Exactly! Though, the opposite is also annoying XD Changing something dramatically without thinking through it and just accepting that stuff is like that.

    And dramatic anachronism with no explanation. People are using swords but you have electricity?? Howww?? Or, you’re obviously pre-industrial revolution but the MC is wearing a lace dress?? Do you know how long bobbin lace takes? This isn’t feasible.

    Unfortunately, both of those are real examples XD (I’m getting off-topic, I’ll stop now XD)

    Even as a hopeless romantic, I agree with this. (Maybe because I’m a hopeless romantic, actually.) Especially in YA where the characters are still really young and maybe haven’t even figured out their worldviews yet, or come to acknowledge their recurring shortcomings, or…

    Yeah, the idea of finding your true love at seventeen is romantic, but is it really helpful or edifying? Not always. It can be, just as there can be people in real life who meet their future spouses when they’re young. It’s not always a bad thing to show. But more balance would be nice.

    I wouldn’t consider myself a hopeless romantic XD A romance needs to be really good for me to find it compelling. More often, I catch myself thinking “Stop kissing every three pages. This is boring. I want sword fighting and cool stuff!” XD But once again, that’s purely my taste.

    But even I can see that often the set up relationships are rushed and basically doomed for failiure, for the exact reasons you mentioned. The characters are like sixteen! They don’t even have themselves figured out yet.

    (Every time I read YA or MG and it includes romance I always want to scream at the characters. “You’re a literal child, calm down!”)

    And sure, it’s sweet to see some budding romance, but often authors try to shortcut to the happy ending.

    I think this partially stems from the idea that only a romance arc is compelling. I can think of a dozen other relationship arcs that I LOVE to read. (Friends to sibling-like is just as good, in my opinion. And Enemies to friends to sibling-like? Perfection.) Yeah, romantic arcs can be cool and fun to read, but there are other options.

    Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

    #143898
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    Exactly! Though, the opposite is also annoying XD Changing something dramatically without thinking through it and just accepting that stuff is like that.

    True.

    People are using swords but you have electricity?? Howww??

    On this example… why not? If they chose to focus on scientific advancement ahead of military advancement, I don’t see why this is unreasonable? If you want swords and electricity, I say go for it.

    Or, you’re obviously pre-industrial revolution but the MC is wearing a lace dress?? Do you know how long bobbin lace takes?

    Actually no, I didn’t, so that’s helpful to know. XD

    I’d also like to note that these things don’t necessarily have to be explained in the story to have an explanation. So as long as there’s not a glaringly-obvious-to-anyone-with-a-brain inconsistency, I can usually have grace for these things and assume there’s a behind-the-scenes explanation. Now, if a culture has, say, electricity and hasn’t applied that to its most important areas of development, I’m gonna have questions. The explanations ought to involve consistency.

    More often, I catch myself thinking “Stop kissing every three pages. This is boring. I want sword fighting and cool stuff!” XD

    I do generally get annoyed when romance is too large a percentage of a book that is supposed to be about, say, saving the world. If the MC would be too distracted to pursue a relationship in the proposed situation, don’t put the plot on hold to shoehorn in a romance plotline. Attraction, fine. Little romantic interactions as they actually have time, sure. Maybe even show them putting in extra effort, if this is really important to them, and show it as effort. But please make the romance-to-plot ratio realistic somehow?

    And sure, it’s sweet to see some budding romance, but often authors try to shortcut to the happy ending.

    Yep.

    I think this partially stems from the idea that only a romance arc is compelling. I can think of a dozen other relationship arcs that I LOVE to read. (Friends to sibling-like is just as good, in my opinion. And Enemies to friends to sibling-like? Perfection.) Yeah, romantic arcs can be cool and fun to read, but there are other options.

    Definitely. We need more varied and stronger relationships, both romantic and platonic. I mean, what about that couple that’s been married 40 years? Or the young couple still planning their wedding? Or the best friends, or the sibling-like friends, or the actual siblings, or the friends that haven’t figured out yet if they could be something more, or… So many options. *cough*I may may not have all of the above in my upcoming novel*cough*

    Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.

    #143899
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @r-m-archer

    On this example… why not? If they chose to focus on scientific advancement ahead of military advancement, I don’t see why this is unreasonable? If you want swords and electricity, I say go for it.

    Yeah, there are definitely reasons why that could happen, but if you’re going into a story with the expectation of it being medieval-esque and then suddenly a character turns on the electric lights, it feels very internally inconsistent, especially if things like metalworking are explicitly stated to still be in their medieval stages.

    It could work, but then I’d like just a passing line about why they haven’t had any need to develop guns. (The technology for a flintlock pistol is way less advanced than for electricity and plumbing.)

    I get that not everyone likes worldbuilding, but then it might work better to just pick a (loose) era and stick to it.

    Personally, it pulls me out of a story, but I’m a proud history nerd 🙂

    Actually no, I didn’t, so that’s helpful to know. XD

    It was an absolute impossiblity until the advent of machine lace! Bobbin lace takes literal years, and something like a lace dress wasn’t even considered until that, even during the 1700s (pre-French Revolution) Which was one of the most opulent and wasteful periods in dress history!

    I’ll stop there, but dress history is one of my passions and that peeved me to no end XD Especially when she ended up tearing the dress and doing all kinds of action stuff in it 😭

    I’d also like to note that these things don’t necessarily have to be explained in the story to have an explanation. So as long as there’s not a glaringly-obvious-to-anyone-with-a-brain inconsistency, I can usually have grace for these things and assume there’s a behind-the-scenes explanation. Now, if a culture has, say, electricity and hasn’t applied that to its most important areas of development, I’m gonna have questions. The explanations ought to involve consistency.

    Sure! If something sounds mildly wrong to me but while I’m reading but I can’t think of an instant reason why it wouldn’t work, I’ll go with it happily. But if I think about it for five seconds and it makes even less sense, then I might want an explanation.

    I do generally get annoyed when romance is too large a percentage of a book that is supposed to be about, say, saving the world. If the MC would be too distracted to pursue a relationship in the proposed situation, don’t put the plot on hold to shoehorn in a romance plotline. Attraction, fine. Little romantic interactions as they actually have time, sure. Maybe even show them putting in extra effort, if this is really important to them, and show it as effort. But please make the romance-to-plot ratio realistic somehow?

    Exactly! There’s nothing worse than calling the entire plot to a halt because they characters need to kiss again XD It’s okay if the romance fills up the little breaks between action, then it can actually be good to take some kind of break from all the strain as a reader.

    Definitely. We need more varied and stronger relationships, both romantic and platonic. I mean, what about that couple that’s been married 40 years? Or the young couple still planning their wedding? Or the best friends, or the sibling-like friends, or the actual siblings, or the friends that haven’t figured out yet if they could be something more, or… So many options. *cough*I may may not have all of the above in my upcoming novel*cough*

    Exactly! That’s what I think too!

    Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

    #143901
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @r-m-archer

    I think I’m @erynnehedrick. I don’t get to creative with that or it’ll be the most complicated thing ever lol

    I followed you! I’ll probably stalk you often because I do that to everyone. There’s your warning XD

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #143902
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    @erynne Just looking over the pins that are visible from your profile, I think we’ll get along great. XD

    Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.

    #143903
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @r-m-archer, I totally agree XD

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

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