Published Article: Females in Fantasy

A while back I posted about the absence of females in fantasy fiction, an ongoing debate, which provoked quite a heated discussion recently at Tara Moss’s The Book Post. The comments there are something to behold and worthy of a read.

In any case, I reworked my original post and submitted it to Lip, a magazine for girls who “think, feel, create, speak out and live. Girls who aren’t afraid to be themselves.”

As luck would have it, they accepted my submission and this week published my article on their website. Hoorah!

If you’d like to have a read, it’s at: http://lipmag.com/arts/books-arts/heroes-and-heroines-females-in-fantasy/

~storytelling nomad~

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33 comments on “Published Article: Females in Fantasy

  1. My story (in the process of being packaged to be sent to publishers) is all about a girl who saves the world. Not a guy, but a girl.

    I agree that in a lot of books there are guy heroes, but some of my favourite books, such as “Shadowmarch”, features a heroine.

    In the case of Bella Swan … well, she was a bit of an idiot. It couldn’t be helped.

    • Bella really was an idiot, wasn’t she?

      My story has a girl who saves the world too, and undoubtedly there are many many novels that feature amazing heroines. I honestly believe that female writers and protagonists alike have made hugely significant leaps and bounds towards finding their place in literature, and some of my favourite authors are female. But from the little I’ve read about it and the statistics I’ve seen, I also think we have a little way to go before the male to female ratio is more balanced.

      Congrats on having your story packaged and ready to send out to publishers by the way! How exciting!

  2. I enjoyed reading your article and really did not put much thought into until now. I love to read and probably the majority of what I read is mystery. I might just have to check out fantasty fiction – Harry Potter is probably the closest I have come. I feel sometimes that when push comes to shove, shove away and stir up some major debate:)

    • Thanks Renee! Glad you enjoyed it :) I’m not a big mystery reader, but I’d say that a lot of the fantasy books I read have quite strong mystery elements. If you enjoyed Harry Potter, no doubt there will be other fantasy books out there that you’d like too.

  3. It’s not a recent problem–women writers have had to change their names to male or gender-neutral ones for a while to sell their stories. As far back as “George Sands”, and a more recent-but-still-slightly-older example that’s specific to the genre is Andre Norton, whose real first name I believe is Mary!

    I think it’s changing–or want to, at least–in no small part thanks to JK Rowling (also a fun anecdote, she doesn’t have a middle name. That K doesn’t stand for anything at all!).

    • The K stands for her paternal grandmother’s first name, Kathleen, but nonetheless, it’s funny that she had to add an intial! J Rowling just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?!

  4. I know a couple of female fantasy writers. They do a pretty good job of it, not that I’m into Fantasy. Moreover, I’m definitely not nto Romance. I get feeling suicidal after reading a few paragraphs. Nevertheless, if one of my female friends writes with a good style, and thank God, they do, I can manage to make it through alive.

    Yet, I’m very happy about the gender gap, all things considered: Vive la difference!

    • I’m not a big romance reader either, and I think there is some misconception that a female writer will indulge in the romantic scenes more than a male writer. I can’t say that any female authored fantasy novels come to mind that were noticeably lovey dovey (apart from Twilight, but I’d rather not relive that experience here). In any case, it’s great to hear that you know a few female fantasy writers who you don’t mind reading!

  5. Yes Katy, a friend of mine described the Wizard of Oz as the story of two women fighting over a pair of shoes, but let’s not go there…
    -Michael

  6. I must be one of the few to find all the sci-fi/fantasy writers with female heroins! lol females take the lead role in a lot of the books I read, sometimes there will be a male side-kick who saves the day occasionally (Like the Sookie-True Blood series) but mostly the women are in control, although sometimes the romantic elements can be a bit off putting – books with a female lead seem a little too reliant on romance to fill the action :/

    • You must share them! I do love the Sookie Stackhouse series, even if she does have an army of love-struck men to back her up! I don’t read a lot of books that are overly ‘romantic’ (although I guess Sookie would have to be one of them), but I agree that it can be off-putting, not just for male readers! It’s interesting that you think romance is used to fill the action. I often wonder if male writers at times do the same with fight scenes to fill the action? Hmmm…

      • I think you may be right about the use of fight scenes to fill action with male writers (I would prefer this over romance! lol)

        I like Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series (although still some lovey dovey nonsense) and Kelley Armstrong (A variety of lead characters through the series) both are better than Sookie :)

      • I prefer fight scenes to romance also, but not when they’re overly drawn out. Then again, I guess that applies to anything.

        Better than Sookie?! What is this blasphemy? ;) I’ll have to check them out!

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