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Young Writers Society
Favorite Female Characters
Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:46 pm
Strangely enough, I never replied to this thread. I've decided to change that by listing some of my favorite female characters. The first of these is Edna Fisher, the chosen one in @BlueAfrica's
The Chosen Grandma
. She's the sassy, independent type of character I love. I also love Sunati from the webcomic
and Cather Avery from
because I felt like I really related to both of them. My last favorite female character is Tamika Flynn, a girl who did the summer reading library and lived to tell the tale in the podcast
Welcome to Night Vale
. I mean, who doesn't love a teen that leads a militia of other educated teenagers?
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Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:59 pm
@saentiel omg thank you <3
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:04 pm
I agree with @saentiel 1000% no joke. That is so accurate. I love Edna.
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Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:15 pm
*can't stop blushing*
But also I thought of a new one! Because since finishing Dr. Blake (well, all of Dr. Blake that's on Netflix), I've started watching Miss Fisher's Mysteries and
OF COURSE because Phryne is perf. She's sassy and daring but also compassionate; intelligent, curious, but also vulnerable, and she's got abuse in her past as well as a murder. (She got to help catch her abuser after he was implicated in a murder and also got to tell him to his face that she's not afraid of him anymore, even though she's was really panicky when she was waiting for him to enter the room.) She pushes social and personal boundaries, doesn't give a fig if someone else is doing something socially unacceptable at the time (i.e. if they're gay or in an interracial relationship) as long as it's not hurting someone else. She has a string of handsome lovers, isn't the marrying type, and is never ashamed of or shamed for it.
Then there's her doctor friend,
who dresses in trousers (this is the 1920s), speaks her mind, and informs young ladies of birth control, even though there's a serious social stigma attached to doing so at the time and she nearly loses her job over it.
Phryne's employee (maid and detective), is incredibly Catholic but, thanks to Phryne's influence, is already becoming more forward-thinking, loyal to herself, and daring. She's a much more traditional young woman, but she never thinks badly of Phryne for being so nonconformist. She's dating ~le gasp~ a
even though her priest originally forbid it.
(Phryne's butler, who is TOTALLY BALLER, basically told her that since she does so much for her church, she could just hint to the priest that if she wasn't able to see her young Protestant, she might not be in the mood to do so much baking and sewing for church events...he's a
bad influence on her, and I love it.)
I also have to mention
who disapproves of Phryne's shenanigans but sometimes uses her incredible influence for good and is certainly the kind of woman to speak her mind.
Basically the whole show is amazing and y'all should go watch it right now.
Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:28 pm
I thought I would revive this thread by bringing up
YouTube video. Swear warning is in place though so tread carefully but it's YouTube, so you know the drill.
Do I really need that much justification for her?
Her parents died when she was young and her mother hated her for not being attractive, so that never really causes any happy childhood memories. Then she marries the second sleaziest guy to eventually become president, and she knows about his affairs, but like other women ignores it to carry on her own life. But what made her different from all of those other wives, is what she did with her personal life, making others better.
So there are some that judge her for remaining married to him but these are the same people who don't realize differences in decades. I don't pay much mind to them.
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In my opinion, Morticia Addams isn't as great a parental figure as Lily, aside from their body shapes where Lily is more realistic. She doesn't exactly have the best decision makers in her family and is constantly cleaning up their messes, and I often see people saying that she is just a housewife. But no housewife is just a house wife. She's the leader of a household, and a magical one at that where thousands more possibilities come into play, but yet she's still pretty sane. Living with them is her niece, who by Lily's standards is not beautiful because she's a normal human, but does she ever tell her that? No. And she has doubts about everyone else in the house, but instead builds up their confidence with some hope that they will succeed.
Within My Family
My grandmother on my dad's side is the lady I'd like to bring up here. Her name is Jane so we're going to use that for the purpose of avoiding confusion.
Her life has been depressing. Her mother married a man who is the definition of philandering and had 3 or 4 marriages after this one ended. The her mom married another guy who would may have murdered one of his previous girlfriends and if I recall correctly, was divorced from his first wife. This relationship didn't work out either because again my great-grandmother was in a marriage with a cheater. Eventually this guy got back with his ex-wife, and just a few year later killed their kids and himself.
The last guy my great-grandmother dated was the man who eventually drove her to suicide or he might have murdered her. No one knows. She went missing for 3 months and eventually her body was found in the river.
This all happened when my grandmother was 15 or 16. She lived alone in the house her mother owned, finished high school and married my grandfather in 1957. They started in Cumberland, MD before moving out to Ohio. Then back to Cumberland where my grandfather joined the business of working for Schmidt's bakery, like several of his other family members. She was a typist and at this point had two kids. One of her hobbies throughout high school and continuing through now is photography.
My grandfather rose through the company and his promotions got his transferred several times. One place was in Pennsylvania and they eventually ended up in Wilmington. Here is where they ran three different restaurants at different points, including a catering service for about ten years. She was the cook and the bookkeeper and so for 25 or so years, she ran a restaurant. The name changed once and the location changed twice, but without a doubt, she was the only person ever in control. She still is.
And this woman is by far the best person I can put forward as a role model.
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Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:56 am
No one said a strong female character had to be good, right? Bella is certainly strong: She's as brave as they come, very loyal (Even if it is loyal to a sicking person in a sicking way), and very powerful as well. Besides she has a PERSONAILTY which most 'strong female characters' lack.
However, you could say that she isn't a strong female character at all, because part of what makes a female character 'strong' is that they aren't completely dependent on there boyfriend, and Bellatrix is practically his slave. Sooo…..
She could define the word 'strong female character.
However, I don't like strong female characters in general because they are overdone and don't act like females at all. So I would just write a female character, and make her a wimp if you need too, females can be wimps and so can heroes.
Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:11 pm
@DauntlessDanger I'm not sure what you mean by "don't act like females," since women and girls all act different in real life. Perhaps you meant they "don't act
" But you could absolutely have a strong female character who is also really feminine. I present to you: Elle Woods of "Legally Blonde."
Anyway, "strong" doesn't have to mean they "don't act like wimps." There are certainly "strong" female characters who have the personality of a cereal box and have only physical strength, but strength can be emotional. Strength can even mean being brave enough to be vulnerable, even though plenty of people equate vulnerability with weakness
but those people are wrong
A strong female character is a woman with personality and agency, who does things for herself and is her own person. Within that umbrella, she can have any other personality traits you want - maybe she runs when danger comes calling but is brave in other ways. Or maybe she's really scared but does dangerous things anyway. (Dot Williams, "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.") Maybe she's really girly (Elle Woods) and always has perfect makeup and nails and is super fashionable. (Phryne Fisher, "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.")
I don't think there's such a thing as "overdoing" the number of strong female characters. I think it's entirely possible to write dull ones, but I'd argue they aren't really strong female characters; they're just there to be the strong female character, which kind of defeats the point: rather than being a fully fleshed-out human being, they're there to fill a particular role. But the whole point of strong female characters is that they're full-developed characters who have the same agency as their male counterparts, rather than always being wife/mother/sex icon/damsel in distress.
And of course you can
wives/mothers/sex icons/damsels in distress, but when the only women in the story are one of those things, it gets a little old. Especially when they're caricatures of those roles, rather than having a personality beyond that. Wives and mothers were once single and childless. Sex icons were once little girls. These characters could be strong women too, if they're allowed to have wants and needs and desires and likes and dislikes of their own like everyone else.
Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:07 am
I'm going to post on this long-dead thread because I want to, and I don't need a better reason for that.
This isn't going to be a comprehensive list of all the female characters I like because that would take forever. These are some characters who have been bouncing around in my head recently. Enspoilered because the condensed version is still very long.
Arya Stark from
A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones
. Arya is a really interesting character throughout her entire arc. She goes from a snarky tomboy to a hardened princess-in-disguise to a shapeshifting assassin. Throughout the series, we really see Arya grow up quickly as a victim of terrible circumstances while still remaining, on some level, a child. She also has some great one liners, which never hurts. One of my favorite Arya moments is in season 1 of the show when her father tells her that one day, she will marry a powerful lord and her sons will be knights and lords in their own right, and she looks him in the eye and matter-of-factly says, "No. That's not me." and then returns to practicing her fencing. Women shouldn't need to be tomboys to be seen as strong, but in a world with such rigid gender roles, it's satisfying to see a character who disregards them so completely.
Toph Beifong, Princess Azula, and Korra from the
Toph is one of my favorite characters of all time. I do love snark, and Toph pulls it off so well. She's also an incredibly talented bender, and it's great to see all the ways she uses her abilities. And, like onions and Shrek, she has layers. She's not just a bundle of quips and rocks, there's some really great exploration into the depth of her character.
Azula doesn't appear until the second season of
, but her and Toph's introduction is part of what makes it my favorite season. She picks up the reins Zuko left as the primary antagonist of the Gaang, and she's really the best antagonist of the whole show. Ozai is a figurehead and Zuko is an angry teen, but Azula is a scalpel. She is dangerous in ways neither of them are. The blue firebending is intimidating, but everything from her walk to her talk makes it feel like she's sadistic, and the only reason she's not killing you slowly is because that would be inefficient. She is unapologetically evil and she pulls it off perfectly.
In many ways Korra was created as a foil to Aang, but she's a great character regardless of who you compare her to. She's brash and headstrong and hotheaded and it's so fun to watch. She doesn't always make good choices, and her flaws make her so much better than she otherwise would have been. Her arc of growing into adulthood is more subtle than those of the characters in AtLA, but it's cool to see her journey from teenager to adult as opposed to child to adult.
These last two are a bit self congratulatory, particularly the former, but I'm going to talk about them anyway. Elia Sol and Ver from a D&D campaign I'm in, along with
, and a non-YWSer. (You don't have to respond to this; I just wanted to let y'all know I was talking about you).
Talking about Eli in particular feels like patting myself on the back because she's my character, but I don't want to bloviate about how well-written or complex she is. I really love how unabashedly
she is. I originally created Elia because many players, myself included, so often make incredibly flawed antiheroes, often with tragic backstories, and when done right, that can be a really satisfying, interesting character. But Eli is genuinely a nice, cheery person who wants to do good in the world. Her past is not without its ups and downs, but her history isn't particularly sad, either. All of this combines into a character who is a change of pace that I've really been enjoying. She's also a Fire Genasi Monk 3/Cleric 2, if anyone was wondering.
Ver is a tiefling paladin played by Mel. Ver is an example of a flawed D&D character with a tragic backstory done right. I'm not going to do her backstory/personality justice because I don't know all of it and also this is already a really long post. Ver, I assume was once a happy child, but, for reasons I do not know, she murdered two of her friends. She regrets this and is scared to let people get close to her because she sees herself as dangerous now and doesn't want to hurt anyone else. I'd be lying if I didn't say part of what I like about Ver is how much great RP I've gotten to do with her, both as Eli and as an earlier character (Glork, a goblin barbarian 4/rogue 1. I have a multiclassing problem.) Glork and Ver are simultaneously good and bad for each other. Over time, they came to see each other as each other's older sister/younger brother, and they talked each other off of a few ledges, but they both had past trauma that would often combine in really unpleasant ways. This came to a head when Ver had an outburst which caused Glork to run away and allowed for the introduction of Eli. Eli hasn't spent as much time in the party as Glork did, but she developed a crush on Ver pretty much immediately. They recently went on a date, and seeing Ver happy, perhaps for the first time since the campaign began, made it that much sadder how melancholy she is the rest of the time. Ver is a really cool character who would be great with or without my characters.
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Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:56 pm
all great choices! Toph is also a good example of disability rep (and her parents' reaction to her disability is something many disabled people have to deal with from their families!). Azula is SCARY AS ALL HECK but she's a great villain and she's not just generically evil (which Ozai kind of is, but as you point out, he's mostly a figurehead while Azula is the in-your-face villain you really have to worry about). And I know a lot of the fandom doesn't care for LoK at all, but I like it, and I agree - Korra's a fantastic foil to Aang, which makes for a
different kind of Avatar than what we're used to after ATLA!
Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:19 pm
Has anyone said Anne of Green Gables? Because she's pretty awesome.
Knowledge is power.
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