S3E2 – Writing Women We Want to Read, Part I

In this episode of Doing Diversity in Writing, we—Bethany and Mariëlle—talk about writing better female characters. This is the first part of a two-part episode on the topic.

Listen to it here on Podbean or find us on your favourite podcast app.

What we talked about

  • That, in the US, women are estimated to buy 70–80% of fiction books
  • There are way more male than female leads in children’s books
  • That novels, on average and across the board, only have one female character to four male characters
  • But that many readers FEEL like there are way more female protagonists these days than there are male protagonists
  • That women writers also have a tendency to write male characters, and that women are not exempt from perpetuating problematic female representations
  • What kind of roles women tend to have in fiction
  • A selection of tropes to avoid or seriously consider when writing female characters
  • Some of the most persistent narrative structures that disempower and/or harm women
  • Why it is important to write female characters better, even if books with badly written women are selling well

(Re)sources mentioned on the show

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