To celebrate the publication of Strife’s Bane, the final instalment of The Shattered Kingdoms series, in paperback, Evie Manieri takes us through ten things the women of the Shatter Kingdoms most certainly are not.
One day, the debate about what makes a Strong Female Character will cease. I know I’m an optimist, but I think we’re getting there. Lots of writers are crouching over their keyboards right now, producing fantastic female characters. It’s glorious.
The Shattered Kingdoms features a lot of women. A lot. They vary widely in terms of age, occupation, sexuality, and circumstance. None of them think or act alike and most have little in common. What they do share are things they aren’t and don’t do.
So I thought I’d share this list. If it helps you, great, but it won’t work for everyone and I’m not in the business of telling anyone how to write. Except for #10. Don’t do #10.
- Her goal is not to overcome gender restrictions; those restrictions are something she brushes aside or subverts to achieve a more important goal.
- She doesn’t allow her growth to be defined or judged by others.
- She isn’t the only woman she knows.
- She’s not interested in being seen as valid in the eyes of the patriarchy.
- She isn’t flawless or a collection of traits that remain static regardless of the circumstances.
- She doesn’t automatically treat other women with suspicion, dislike or contempt.
- Her uniqueness does not come from being the exception to all other women.
- She is not a woman in physicality only; her experiences are coloured by what it means to be a woman in her world.
- She is not valued by her ability to make others happy or comfortable.
- She does NOT monologue, internally or externally, about the size and characteristics of her own breasts. [SERIOUSLY DO NOT DO THIS.]
Happy writing! And go ahead and smash the patriarchy if you feel like it.