Wednesday, September 16, 2009
It's a wrap! Summing up the discussion.

Executive summary

Kick-butt female characters are fun. We don't want to give them up. But we are intrigued by the challenge of portraying their less violent sisters with equal force of character. Sterling examples of past successes are both inspirational and possibly indicative of the greater difficulty of holding the attention of a genre audience in the absence of serious butt-kicking, since many really fine pieces of writing of this sort are not as well-known as the greats of the butt-kicking variety.

Food for Thought

It would be interesting to explore whether this phenomenon is generally true of characters irrespective of gender. In which case, one might expect to find the best known cases of non-violent characters of influence occurring in supporting roles - like Don Quixote's Sancho or Buffy's Xander.


Lynda, great way to summarize the discussion. It was great fun and lots of interesting points were brought up by everyone involved.

PS: Your "Amel" character would (I think) fall into the non-violent category. Perhaps you could tell us more about the difficulties you may face getting people to identify with him? or perhaps ask someone to tell you what it's like from a readers point of view?

Indeed, I've noticed that there are definitely people who like Horth and are put off by Amel and visa versa. One reader whose opinion I much respect is discussing Amel's weakness in Far Arena with me, via private channels. He points out Amel has always been a strong character even if not a violent one, but seems to flounder in Far Arena even on the spiritual front. Which is true. Ranar is another strong-gentle character and he suffers a setback in Far Arena, as well. Nobody likes to identify with a "beaten" character which makes perfect sense. But Amel (and Ranar) do recover, I promise! In Far Arena itself, though, I have to rely on Erien, Horth and other characters to carry the plot. Evert and Bley are the steadfast strong-gentle ones.

Maybe we might do a future discussion on "supporting cast" characters.
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