12 August 2015

Writing a Female Protagonist Who is a Crappy Leader

To a small extent, circumstances and environment act as a catalyst for her growth. She has to lead a small gang of rebels as they terrorize the only city state on the isolated island to liberate the nomadic slaves and slow the erosion of city dweller's independence. But, for the most part, I try to write her challenges as consequences of her own mistakes.

Why am I writing this book?

Well, I couldn't write a female leader I wouldn't follow and I had no desire to write about the adventures of a woman without leadership qualities. She had to be someone with strong ideals without a hint of group mentality and an unfailing commitment to the greater good. And balls. 

A good female protagonist needs balls.*

My own life has been shaped and guided by many strong women. I've been fortunate to never feel I had to question what women could achieve or what women in general had to offer as leaders. Naturally, I could never support a leader, because she was a woman, but I'd never question a woman's strength, wisdom or ability to lead, because she was female.

I really thought it would be easier to write this book. I didn't think I would be questioning how I viewed myself and other women or what I knew about leadership. I thought it would flow naturally and I've discovered that I was tragically wrong.

In someways, I'm trying to write a character who is one part Glinda the Good and one part Wicked Witch. And that has lead me try better understanding women who made history, because that's where I'm finding the best material, but's it's leaving with as many questions as I find answers.

*And this female writer needs a better synonym for "balls."
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