We're back to writing again on Bookaholic, looking at women in fiction. I, and probably much of the UK, watched Mr Selfridge on the television last night. For those of you who haven't yet seen this show it is a drama about the life of the owner of Selfridge's store in London. Yes I know this is a book blog but I'm getting there. be patient. In series one Mr Selfridge's wife, Rose, was a somewhat put upon secondary character. In this series she has transformed into a strong woman who has found her own voice. I like and admire the new Rose.
This got me thinking about the female characters in novels. Often they only seem to exist as an extension of the male characters with no voice of their own. Developing female characters can be complex especially if that character takes the lead. As a writer it is important to know each character as well as you know your own self. The female character needs to stand out in some way as being their own person, with their own wants and needs. Someone who is different to all who have gone before them. Their drive often needs to be greater than their male counterparts as can often be the case in the real world.
I am aware of this when writing the character of Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie in my own novels. Shona is a feisty soul with a strong determination to succeed. Both funny and strong she does things her own way. Not that she always always let's me write her character the way I want to. She has her own voice. If I were to have a conversation with her it would probably go like this:
"Er, I'm the author. Do what your told."
"Not a chance. I'm the Detective Inspector so hold on to my coat tails and come along for the ride. I'll take you places you never knew you wanted to go."
It is great fun writing female characters and seeing how they develop, not only through the book, but through the series. Much like my life it is a whistle stop tour through the unknown.
See you next time on Bookaholic's. Get that book that's about an inch from your elbow and keep reading.