IWSG: The Underlying Message
Hey everyone! It is IWSG Wednesday. The Insecure Writer's Support Group is an awesome collective of writers who post their writerly insecurities every first Wednesday of the month, founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Thanks to our co-hosts for February as well: Gwen Gardner, Dolorah, Sarah Foster, and M. Pax.
The more time I spend with the dual protagonists of my current project--which I can only describe as some kind of women's historical fiction though half of it is contemporary and there's a bit of mystery in there--the more I'm pleased by them. Doesn't mean the characters are as realized as I want them to be yet, but there's a lot to play with.
I once read a blog post years ago suggesting that authors often write stories based on a few different themes, so that some authors will write many stories focused on identity or mother-daughter issues and they tend to explore this in their work many times over. Do you think this is true?
My last story's 'underlying story,' if you will, had to do with racism and acceptance; it was set in Georgian England. I queried that project, but I think one of these days, I might want to tear it apart again and focus on my favorite character in there instead. Someday.
So what's the new one's underlying story? I think it might be feminism.
Not long ago, a writing buddy, SL Huang, had a post up on Chuck Wendig's blog: On the Subject Of Unlikable Women Protagonists. Makes great points. Go read it. Because as a woman, I want to read more awesome female characters, whether they are badass or weak or romantic or whatever; I want them to be compelling and I want them to more reflect the awesome, sometimes batshit-crazy spectrum of what it's like to be a female. There's a lot of insecurity in writing land about creating female characters, much more so than in creating a male character. The majority of my characters are female, as are the majority of my friends and co-workers. But we are very different people.
And--underlying message here--we have to write the books and the characters we want to read.