Tag Archives: quotes

I’m sort of both thrilled about being, having played, a kind of iconic character, but I wish it weren’t such a lonely feeling. Because I do feel that women are so incredible. It seems to be hard for Hollywood to come up with good just sort of straightaway – straight, true women characters that they don’t try to make, you know, ‘sympathetic’ or something. That’s always the kiss of death,” [Weaver] said. “When a person will try to write you to make people feel something for you instead of just letting you get on with it, it can be a kiss of death. It takes talented people in all these different fields to come up with good men and women characters. There’s so many great examples in the world of powerful, interesting personalities that I hope it’s more – perhaps if more women choose to enter this field of creating games, that will happen. I just think that, as someone who doesn’t know that much about games but thinks they’re great, I just feel like there should be games for everybody, for everybody’s taste. I am sure it will happen.

Sigourney Weaver on the Legacy of Ellen Ripley, Women in Games, and Her Return in Alien: Isolation | The Mary Sue (via themarysue)

This is a great quote from Sigourney Weaver about female characters and it applies to writing all different kinds of fiction, but it’s especially true when working with action characters or characters like Ripley. When working with female characters who are outside the range of what is considered acceptable behavior by society, I think too often as writers we become scared that this character won’t be liked or won’t be relateable to the audience, which is what Ms. Weaver is saying in the quote above. We end up tacking on all these extras to try to bring the character back into line with where gender norms say they should be. This is how a lot of female characters end up becoming “unrealistic”, even within the rules of their own narrative.

Ultimately, you shouldn’t need any additions to make a female character likeable. Being a human being who struggles in the face of adversity and is challenged by their narrative is enough. Let them screw up and fall down, let them face their problems and figure them out.


The problem with using symbolism like this, however, is that it’s not only obvious, but often used as a crutch in writing. It’s a lot easier to fit out an antagonist with symbols and motifs that are shorthand for “bad guy” – spikes, snakes, the color black, fire – than it is to actually show how they’re a bad person. It’s also a lot less interesting and, frankly, insulting to the reader.

If you are a writer, and you have a novel idea that you are excited about writing, write it. Don’t go on message boards and ask random Internet denizens whether or not something is allowed. … Who is the writer here? YOU ARE. Whose book is it? YOUR BOOK. There are no writing police. No one is going to arrest you if you write a teen vampire novel post Twilight. No one is going to send you off to a desert island to live a wretched life of worm eating and regret because your book includes things that could be seen as cliché.

If you have a book that you want to write, just write the damn thing. Don’t worry about selling it; that comes later. Instead, worry about making your book good. Worry about the best way to order your scenes to create maximum tension, worry about if your character’s actions are actually in character; worry about your grammar. DON’T worry about which of your stylistic choices some potential future editor will use to reject you, and for the love of My Little Ponies don’t worry about trends. Trying to catching a trend is like trying to catch a falling knife—dangerous, foolhardy, and often ending in tears, usually yours.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t pay attention to what’s getting published; keeping an eye on what’s going on in your market is part of being a smart and savvy writer. But remember that every book you see hitting the shelves today was sold over a year ago, maybe two. Even if you do hit a trend, there’s no guarantee the world won’t be totally different by the time that book comes out. The only certainty you have is your own enthusiasm and love for your work. …

If your YA urban fantasy features fairies, vampires, and selkies and you decide halfway through that the vampires are over-complicating the plot, that is an appropriate time to ax the bloodsuckers. If you decide to cut them because you’re worried there are too many vampire books out right now, then you are betraying yourself, your dreams, and your art.

If you’re like pretty much every other author in the world, you became a writer because you had stories you wanted to tell. Those are your stories, and no one can tell them better than you can. So write your stories, and then edit your stories until you have something you can be proud of. Write the stories that excite you, stories you can’t wait to share with the world because they’re just so amazing. If you want to write Murder She Wrote in space with anime-style mecha driven by cats, go for it. Nothing is off limits unless you do it badly.

And if you must obsess over something, obsess over stuff like tension and pacing and creating believable characters. You know, the shit that matters. There are no writing police. This is your story, no one else’s. Tell it like you want to.

Rachel Aaron (via relatedworlds)

Yeah, so, this answers a lot of asks I get. It’s also why YW focuses on technique and style, and less on content and research.

(via clevergirlhelps)

The notion that people should write what they know is very limiting. Imagination is one of the most powerful tools we have. I use research to guide my imagination, and then I try to find people who can tell me where I’ve imagined wrong. This applies to all of writing, and it’s really no different for writing a diverse character. People fail at this when they abandon research, imagination, and expert assistance for tropes, stereotypes, and ‘what everybody knows’ …


Occasionally it works out, fine, but someone who doesn’t have a passion for leadership is going to do very poorly at the top. Because that shit’s hard, it is ungodly hard, and only if you’re truly committed to it are you going to be any good at it. Someone who just accidents their way into it is going to drop the ball, not to mention the fact that they haven’t prepared themselves for the task, so they’re untrained and untried.

Ambition is not a bad thing. Ambition for power is not a bad thing. Being ruthless and cutthroat and amoral, sure, but not ambitious.

And yet again and again and again and again and again I see books where only the person who doesn’t want the job is considered good enough to have it. And I think it’s born out of this idea that ambition is evil, but at the same time they need to be in charge for the story to work, so we end up with this fucking trope that is literally the opposite of sense-making.