So, this weekend, I worked on a chapter for the third Forgotten Years book that I am going to have to treat very gingerly. I am not the best at writing for female characters, though I believe that I do a decent enough job for the depth of my books. Of course, a fantasy series made up of exclusively male characters is boring and unrealistic (in most cases).
I’ve had at least one female character in the Forgotten Years series since the beginning chapters of The Call of Chaos and she has grown and matured, found strengths and weaknesses, and done all kinds of questionable things. I have tried to keep her realistic and, for the type of books I write, I think she’s a pretty decent character.
But I don’t go too deep into thinking that I am an expert on writing for female characters. There is a lot of subjects that I am not prepared to address, at least for now, because I do not have confidence that I can handle them correctly.
The same holds true for writing about people of color. Now, of course, my books are fantasy novels so some things can be toyed with or flipped on their heads. But that does not mean the writer has carte blanche to just do whatever they wish, does it? No.
So, in this latest chapter, a certain female character meets a certain male, black character under tense circumstances. At first, she believes that she is in danger and, no, she has not seen the color of her would-be assailant (so there’s no assumption that he’s dangerous because he’s black). The scene is brief but it’s pretty much new territory for me.
I wrote it, but I’m going to need to go back and reread it/edit it probably over and over again. I want to do justice to everyone involved and create an accurate depiction. For this, I will make sure the chapter sees several sets of eyes.
Comfort zones are great and all, but you can’t exist solely within them.