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File: 1600889993511.jpg (177.87 KB, 1041x1200, 182ee2ee365b259b6c71401942af54…)

No. 108823

Inspired by the conversation in "Unpopular Opinion" thread on /ot/.

I agree with most anons (and most people's view, period) of how most female characters are written poorly and usually executed as a plot point, a love interest, waifu bait, or with just one defining characteristic. While there are plenty badly-written male characters, it is like male characters are written with more ease and given thought outside of their gender/sex which makes them usually more unique or realistic. In contrast, female characters normally don't even feel human.

We can discuss how female characters can be written good for once and solve most of the issues that plague fandoms because of it.

Here are my opinions:

>Write them so they act differently in different situations. The problem with a lot of female characters is that they're not allowed to show but a few range of emotions in their whole existence. If she feels self-doubting, then so be it. If she feels vulnerable and pathetic, then so be it. If she feels mischievous, then so be it. If she feels extremely indignant, then so be it. However, this should all be within reason and range of her own temperament, although we all know many human beings don't even stay consistent in their lives anyways.

>Have her have different goals outside a love interest or a man. I don't know why but a lot of female characters tend to not have developed relationships with other females. Showing female-female friendships can be a rare experience and also a way of showcasing moments of your character the other characters might not see.

>Don't be afraid to give her a wide range of personalities and character types, try not to limit her to the constrictions of gender roles but don't go at a point where her character feels outright unrealistic as well.

>Don't be afraid to make her side-track for her goal for once. When a female character has one "goal" she literally keeps it for her entire existence for some reason, especially if its romance. She can forget about her romance/love interest side plot blah blah when she's doing something else. Also don't be afraid to put her in funny or outrageous situations since it's far too often only male characters get to be in that.

>lastly MAKE HER LIKE A REAL PERSON. Just study real people or base off your female relatives/girlfriends/wives/other women. Most female characters are written as if the creator doesn't know any women at all!

Looking forward to see what the rest of /m/ thinks.

No. 108824

Oh yeah and I noticed female characters are written with much constrains and one-dimensionality when face it, people aren't like that and people are easily adaptable. If your character isn't feeling adaptable/changeable all the while keeping their consistent "base" but instead has to be on one script all the time then you're basically just writing a living doll at this point.

No. 108837

Kikyo > Kagome

>All the best female characters are in lesbian ships


No. 108838

Female-female friendships are common tho? but I guess it's mostly in moeshit and kids shows

No. 108840

File: 1600900136513.png (2.92 MB, 1433x2028, 56850607.png)

I feel bad (sometimes) for liking moe SOL because it's where I get my comfy female friendship fantasy with no romance bullshit but I know they're often coded to be yuribait for voyeuristic scrotes…

No. 108842

File: 1600903364229.gif (3.45 MB, 498x498, tenor.gif)

I'm open to any kind of personality as long as it's multi-faceted, but I definitely prefer

>Stands up for herself and will argue back when someone makes a stupid argument.

>Does not focus on a relationship too much but is emotionally available to her loved ones. So not a robot.
>Not waspish hourglass shaped, not stick figure. Just more natural.
>Hair isn't red (western media) or brown (asian media, esp korean webtoons). I mean it, this shit is so overrepresented.
>Does not show cleavage in her day-to-day outfit.
>Does not shy away from things that are traditionally "feminine" but also has a more "masculine" side, like most human beings.
>Either a professional/master at what she does or is learning to one day become competent. I don't want her to lag behind her teammates the entire time.
>Not a healer. Please.
>Has strong friendships that take precedent over her romantic interest.
>Does not get raped so that she can have a girl boss arc because like… rape made her badass…. sansa….. ugh
>Has a silly side to her if she is normally stoic OR is not a fucking idiot if she is a more playful character.
>Not clumsy for moe points.

I quite liked Catra in the new Shera.

No. 108843

No. 108851

eat my ass

No. 108853

easy. one quality

No. 108858

Aw fuck this is baste

No. 108863

I wish someone could write a female character with flaws but not making it cute and quirky like some Harley Quinn or manic pixie dream girl trash.

No. 108867

The only mainstream female character that I can think of for now, that it's flawed, real and vulnerable is Katniss Everdeen. I'm glad the trilogy of THG was and still is so popular because all the female characters are pretty cool tbh (and obviously were written by a woman)

No. 287484

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I'm gonna bump this thread. I usually try to write my female characters as far from the idea of a "woman" that I can get. If she seems like she's leaning too hard into a certain stereotype, I scrap her and come up with something else. If I think I'm pigeon-holing her, I'll write a guy, and just change all the pronouns.

Above all though I try to give them agency, that's a big one. Agency and some major flaw that doesn't at all tie back to men or "femininity" (worried about not being "pretty" enough, wanting to bitch and put down other women to establish herself as a "queen bee", etc.).

By 'agency' I mean…the typical thing I suppose, if the character needs to rely on outside sources to generate plot then she isn't enough of a character.

No. 287494

> If she seems like she's leaning too hard into a certain stereotype, I scrap her and come up with something else.

I try the opposite tactic sometimes, of imagining some shallow female trope, and trying to think about what her life is really like. Like the “mean girl cheerleader” - instead of making her someone who hates other women, giving her some other humanizing or unexpected traits. She likes picking flowers and making daisy chains, and listens to 80s heavy metal on her iPod nano. She wants to be a serious athlete and she loves that cheerleading let’s her be near women. Maybe she pushes her standards of success into other people because she’s too earnest, which makes people perceive her mean. This is a rando example I just came up with, but I try to make sure that when I write women, I can imagine their whole lives, and to remember that people can surprise you.

I also try to make their motives not have to do with men. There’s too much stuff about trying to please a father, male mentor, boyfriend, or just thinking about men in general. Having each female character have a real philosophy and way of seeing the world makes it so her interactions with other characters feel like they come from real beliefs and not a dumb script. She should also be allowed to change, have flaws, reflect on her life, and get better (or worse).

No. 287508

Good post nona.
>I also try to make their motives not have to do with men. There’s too much stuff about trying to please a father, male mentor, boyfriend, or just thinking about men in general.
I do this as well, even with my male characters. But for women especially I'll not even write men into their backstory; not even the slightest hint of a father or a boyfriend or whatever. If I do then they've usually been killed off in some way, to foster her own development.

No. 287531

Rumiko Takahashi is such an enigma to me, all her female characters are usually based except the damn main heroine (see Akane, Lum, kagome) i blame it on her need to put them in bad relationships

No. 287579

It's not a main heroine issue, Sango was cool but she paired her with the retarded monk and made her look like a doormat, it always pissed me off.

No. 287603

To flip the question around what would you say is a bad female character or female character writing?

No. 287637

File: 1680711812145.jpeg (327.83 KB, 1552x827, B2FD8888-32F6-4B14-AA6A-FFECD1…)

Great thread! I am currently working on a project with a huge female cast (main source of inspiration are witches through history and feminism), I am reading Claymore and getting lots of inspiration.
I want to make all the women in my story different, I am taking notes from you anons. Some of you made really interesting points.

I’ll add that I hate when the excuse for the warriors/monsters/whatever for being female is because of fertility bullshit. Another thing that I dislike is when they aren’t shown during female experiences such as having a realistic period, the scare of getting pregnant (it is always crying about being unable of getting pregnant). I want to see sexual women that are not the “femme fatale”, it’s a trope I got tired of.
I also want to see male being reliant on the female figures, I want to see m/f friendships that don’t boil down to romantic interest (like Sugimoto and Asirpa from Golden Kamuy). I want to see women that are happy to be alone even in old age. I also want to see competent women that are not necessarily bullied or the brooding strong stoic type, but also goofy and genuinely nerdy.

No. 287668

I like Akane, don't shit talk my girl please. I like tsundere/tsundere pairings a lot to begin with though.

No. 287934

One of my own rules is, you have to be able to put her in shenanigans and unflattering situations. Even the coolest people slip-up and act goofy sometimes. Giving the character her goals, attributes, backstory is great but also is the small moments where she gets to be weird or stupid or picky or petty etc. Granted, I need to keep this in check otherwise I just get only goofball characters, but still.

One such detail about my heart-of-gold investigator/sidekick is that she's a serial monogamist and once made out with another woman just to get the gum from her mouth.

No. 287997

another thing about period, I always hated it how period was used by writers to signify this woman can get pregnant and is a foreshadowing that she got pregnant lmfao. That's the only time it's 'useful' for them to show menstruation.

No. 288003

>good female characters
>post rumiko takahashi the one who prototyped the worst possible anime trope in existence that has plagued female characters for at least two decades, the violent tsundere

No. 288009

Not her fault if other writers who read her stuff are dumb coomers who took that shit seriously. Maybe I say this because I only watched Ranma 1/2 and Maison Ikoku long ago and not Urusei Yatsura and Inuyasha yet, but in Ranma 1/2 Akane being a violent tsundere was on the same level of violence as shit like Tom and Jerry. It's too cartoony and the gags are too absurd to be taken seriously. It's not like in Love Hina were Naru is often violent in a way that's way too disproportionate and the gags and situations not being that absurd until you reach the second half of the manga.

No. 288011

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I loved watching Amelie. The movie hypes you up for the level of detail they've written with her, how she gets excited with little things, how considerate but awkward she is with other people, her childhood traumas, her complicated relationship with her father after her mother's death, but despite her past she's still in touch with her own feelings and so on. And then, when she meets that guy, no closure, at all. The movie just hints they got together and that's the end. So that's what the movie is about? Amelie just wanted a man and now all her problems are fixed? What about to all of her traumas and issues with social anxiety? Is a man a cure for that?
It also made me wonder what would happen if Amelie wasn't that attractive, because she's gorgeous. Would people find her quirks and oddities still adorable?
I know it's supposed to be a feel-good movie but it still made me think much of how women are portrayed in media, even in such a tame and low-key portrayal, such as this movie,.

No. 288056

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I liked how the women were written in this movie, didn't surprise me to see that Greta Gerwig was on the script

No. 288069

File: 1680875312765.jpg (380.56 KB, 2048x1366, 21saul2-superJumbo.jpg)

Kim Wexler is one of the few decently-written women in the latest media (despite me not agreeing with last season). Are there any other movies/shows with well-written women out there (from the recent ones)?
I enjoyed Hulu's DOLLFACE, as it's a tv show written by women and for women (same staff worked on birds of prey afaik), but the latest season was such a letdown that I dropped it altogether. Should have known it was bound to happen when Hulu ditched them and they put some #relatable Youtuber as one of the new main characters.

No. 288445

Outside of tropes I hate (femme fatales, damsels in distress, and maniac pixie dream girls b teinghe top three), it's really context dependent. If it's a shitty gag series, what types of jokes is she written into. Is it all sex comedy? Is she the (only) straight man? Does it involve romance?

If it's a high-octane thriller, does she fight? If she doesn't fight, does she still have a role that actively shifts the plot due to her own desires?

Restating what I wrote in my OG post but a good character has agency. She can't just sit on her hands and wait for some big strong dude to save her. Her motivation shouldn't revolve around men. Just give her an actual brain and some depth of personality, and we're golden.

No. 288472

File: 1681005973029.jpg (299.63 KB, 2048x1713, bwo3frlmutga1.jpg)

Make a male shounen/seinen character. Genderswap him and don't sexualize it.

No. 288544

This. Just write a male character and give it a vagina.

No. 289271

File: 1681386843397.jpeg (69.21 KB, 480x412, EDF524E0-3305-4A56-A27E-658042…)

any tips for writing a femme fatale character without making her too coomery or cliché?

the idea is that she suffered sexual trauma when she was younger. it fucked her up really badly and gave her a distorted self-image and view on sex. she the turned to seducing and using men as pawns to get by in life, which is a lifestyle that wears away at both her psyche and body. she’s not meant to be the main character but i really want to write her well. or is the entire idea flawed from the start?

No. 289274

if you delve into her issues well it might be interesting and realistic so it's something that i personally would love to read, however HOWEVER i advise you to be very careful with this type of character because the modern audience will either criticize you for her backstory (sexual trauma is an ick for many despite how common it is) and claim you have something against women who want to freely express their sexuality lol that's why femme fatales are ultimately reduced to girlboss these days, people are sensitive to more serious and nuanced topics as to why they might behave that way. although it also depends on what audience you plan to write for, if it's more of a radfem circle they will appreciate it but if it's a zoomer feminist audience it's risky

No. 289275

thank you so much nona! great advice, i really appreciate it. i’m very particular and detailed when it comes to the psychology of my characters so i’ll continue to explore and delve deeper into her psyche.

i hadn’t even thought about the audience aspect of it so i think you really saved me by mentioning that. i’ll keep my vision and try to steer the story in the direction of women who will appreciate it more and not lynch me for daring to not romanticize her. again, thank you.

No. 289299

My main issues with femme fatales is when they are "fixed" by finding a man they love. It's not something impossible to be well written and interesting, but right now it feels like the most of them are bound to end up with a guy who saves her from the wrong path or whatever, alternatively they just keep girlbossing without any character development. I would like to see a femme fatale relate to other women or develop a deeper relationship with a guy that goes deeper than "you are different from other guys, therefore I love you".

No. 289749

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biased opinion here as i really, really, really hate this fucking trope, so definitely ignore my post if you don't want to read whinging but: my thing with femme fatales is that this whole thing of 'using men as pawns' is fake.

if a man is still allowed access to your body, sexually, then YOU'RE the thing that's being used. general (you) here btw. if you're actively trying to turn him on or otherwise fall into his favor, then he's winning, you are servicing him, you are willingly turning yourself into a product for him to consume.

and i honestly dislike it even if the guy is being killed by the femme fatale. men cry all the time about women ""using"" them as wallets and whatever else, as if having to actually spend money and time on a woman before she wants to sleep with you is such a crime and detriment to their health. why validate their fear even in a fictional context?

MAYBE it could work if she was in fact the main character, or at least not portrayed as a (side) villain. i dunno. but i really think such characters are tired, just write something else that doesn't ultimately center around men

this probably sounds insane and rambly

No. 289763

I agree with you. The idea is flawed from the start.

What if you remove the whole sexual trauma part and just make her a wildly sexual woman? You could always have a character arch that shows that her overly sexual nature which she found empowering is really just her staying in a position of serving men. Or you can have her justify her choices, she doesn't necessarily have to appeal to the masses as long as she's interesting.

What I dislike overall about using sexual trauma as a base for a female character's personality is that most women who experience sexual trauma in their youth don't behave like this for the most part, and it's not a huge part of who they are. Instead they just keep on living their lives, going to work, hanging out with friends, starting families and doing their hobbies despite there barely being a day where they aren't thinking of what happened to them. They might have anger issues, depression, anxiety and the lot. They might even be hypersexual and don't know what healthy boundaries are, but they rarely become "femme fatales" who "use men".

No. 289796

It's not that any of the girls by themselves, like Akane, are bad, but Rumiko forces them into pairing with men that bring the worst out of them.

No. 289851

The solution is always to make the character a vampire/succubus who literally feeds off males.

No. 314818

Is there a female equivalent to Hannibal Lecter that isn't some femme fatale nympho?

No. 314836

Villanelle from Killing Eve is the most commonly cited example.

No. 314850


No. 315656

File: 1692312051811.jpeg (72.63 KB, 736x558, IMG_5767.jpeg)

would you say it’s possible to write a traditionally hyper-feminine, meek and submissive female character and still make her a “good” female character?

my idea for her is that she’s socially stunted and traumatized, and initially appears to be a complete doormat with no agency of her own, or even a desire to pursue agency or take charge of her own life. but as you get to know her deeper into the story, she slowly but surely reveals herself to be deeply empathetic and to have a rich inner life, being emotionally intelligent and wise and capable of turning her own vulnerability into an asset. she becomes a valuable core member of the main cast, not by developing into a girlboss but by using her own “quiet” talents to aid the focal characters in a way that is unique to her and that makes her a unique asset. her main struggle throughout the work would be her lack of faith in herself and her talents, and her character development would lead her to develop a stronger resolve and to find faith in her own ability and realize she has value, and also that her trauma and social troubles do not have to define her.

would this make for an interesting female character or does it just play into a moid’s submissive waifu fantasy?

No. 315660

Depends if the focal character she aids is male or female.

No. 315673

imo i'd say it depends on how her actions help her own goals, but i think that's a great character outline! i think you should go for it and see what elements of her characterization you end up keeping or changing

No. 315750

File: 1692353836898.jpeg (109.25 KB, 1169x609, IMG_5768.jpeg)

there are more than one focal character she aids and there are both men and women in that group

thank you nonna! i’ll go for it then.

her character is deeply traumatized but i don’t want her trauma to define her, so that will be a strong theme surrounding her character. in a way, perhaps it’s a good theme that recovering from/learning to live with a trauma doesn’t have to mean completely changing your personality to the common image of what a “strong” woman should look like. “quiet” strength is strength too, and this girl was meek and quiet even before her trauma so changing up her core personality doesn’t make too much sense either.

ig these are things i’m trying to come to terms with myself so creating and developing this character has been comforting

No. 315766

Very solid character, also relatable i'm literally her, which shows that there's a real human element within her characterization. Good job

No. 315769

File: 1692365117859.jpeg (524.55 KB, 1170x1240, IMG_5774.jpeg)

thank you so much nonna! i’m so glad you like her, it means a lot and also same

No. 315774

this gives off fluttershy vibes kek. i think a character with that kind of personality would appeal to scrotes regardless, but don't base your work off of scrote reactions.

>her character is deeply traumatized but i don’t want her trauma to define her, so that will be a strong theme surrounding her character.

this annoys me and reminds me of the "survivor vs. victim" mentality that plagues discussion of sexual violence, because the term victim seems more tied to the idea of developing a victim complex than seeing it as a neutral term to describe someone who has been perpetrated against. what stereotypes of victims do you believe you are working against? i think an interesting thing to consider would be her considering how her personality might have played into being targeted, because perpetrators look for people who seem easy to harass and manipulate.

No. 315782


> what stereotypes of victims do you believe you are working against?

i don’t believe i’m working against anything in particular, she’s a rape victim written by a rape victim. her feelings and struggles reflect her and her writer and no one else.

> i think an interesting thing to consider would be her considering how her personality might have played into being targeted, because perpetrators look for people who seem easy to harass and manipulate.

she blames herself for what happened to her because of her own naïveté and inability to pick up on her attacker’s intentions before it was too late, and her ‘not letting her trauma define her’ involves letting go of the blame she holds for herself. she also realizes that those naive and meek qualities may have contributed to him seeing her as a good target and blames herself for that as well.

No. 316493

I think that the central problem is that male characters are more likely to be written just as characters and even varied characters, whereas women are always written as "the woman" or "this type of woman".
Even comics that try to be feminist make that mistake by focusing more on how the feMC "represents" women and feminity than actually just writing a fucking female character. You don't or very rarely get female villains either besides the femme fatale that desires to rape the MC.

>The problem with a lot of female characters is that they're not allowed to show but a few range of emotions in their whole existence.

This too. People are too afraid to either piss off the waifu fans or the woke readers. You should never worry about the fanbase when you write a character, but just write them and imagine what sort of other emotions or thoughts a character like the one you created should or could have.

Plus the relationships you mentioned are also a huge problem. Female characters need more non-romantic relationships with BOTH genders I think.
I always played video games, went out to bars or LARPed with my male friends and sperged over fandoms and pretty anime boys with my female friends or drew art with them. A person is more than one hobby and one trait. You have different relationships for different things you enjoy doing. That said, this an issue even most male characters have.

Think when you create a character you should always try to combine totally different traits or interests with each other because no person that likes horror movies is into nothing but dark shit. They might also enjoy cute things or be afraid of being lonely despite enjoying serial killers and gore on screen.

No. 316500

>i think a character with that kind of personality would appeal to scrotes regardless
Moids sexualize cars, who cares at this point, might as well write whatever you want

No. 316506

>Female-female friendships are common tho? but I guess it's mostly in moeshit and kids shows
it's always super sanitized and cutesy though. most of these cgdct shows will always feature some shit like boob jokes or squealing over boys kek…it's "female friendship" through a male filter – and jpn scrotes just want to watch young girls hit one another with pillows and giggle while applying baby pink makeup and flushing over mild sex jokes. i occasionally enjoy moeshit btw but facts are facts

No. 316951

No. 317033

I wish they could pull off something like Sailor Moon again. That was also girly bantering and it was pretty sanitized all things considered, but it never felt lifeless like most cgdct do, to me at least.
I think that otaku targeted shows rely too much on the cuteness to the point at which the series feels more like an advertisement, like when you see those ads where everybody is super happy and smiling and holding the product they want to sell that improved their life. In that case the "product" is just replaced by the respective hobby/school club the series is about and the ad runs for 20 minutes instead of 20 seconds.

No. 359484

Moids who watch CGDCT slop are mentally dysfunctional to the point they can't handle any fictional conflict, please understand.

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