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Annoying Female Characters

November 23, 2011

The annoying female friend. I’ve been told I’ve written such a character, and I’m sure I’ll do it again. But—and here’s the thing—I won’t apologize for it. Those annoying friends? They exist in our lives. They’re a part of our everyday experiences. Some people might not tolerate such people, but I know from my own personal experiences, those annoying friends tend to have many non-annoying traits. They’re not annoying 100% of the time.

Also? What one person might find annoying, another might find perfectly enjoyable. I’ve had friends that have driven me up the proverbial wall, but no one could understand why because those people weren’t annoying to anyone else. Just me. So, I had to learn that what annoys me doesn’t necessarily annoy another. I also had to realize that a couple annoying traits didn’t mean the person was a bad person.

This is something I keep in mind when I’m writing. Cheryl, from Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley, is considered a terrible stereotype. When I wrote her, I didn’t see her as that. When I wrote Cheryl, I thought of myself and my best gay friend, how I hung out with him endlessly, how he loved me and I loved him even with our little quirks. Admittedly, I never asked him to kiss his boyfriend in front of me, but I’m also more of a introvert than Cheryl is. Therefore, I found her to be perfectly acceptable. She was that best friend who loves you to death and sometimes says inappropriate things that just make you want to facepalm.

And I don’t think there’s a thing wrong with that. All female characters in fiction don’t need to be wonderful, sweet, tolerant, caring, and appropriate. Female characters should run the same gamut as male characters. I should feel the freedom to write a nasty, unpleasant female without worrying that I’m going to be slammed as a woman-hater. I should feel the freedom to write a sweet, innocent, sparkling female without being slammed as writing a Mary Sue. See what I’m getting at here? Yeah, an author sometimes can’t win for losing, quite honestly.

I think I’ve come to a point where I’m okay with that. I’ll write the male and female characters I want, the way they come to me, as they want to be written, and just smile when someone complains. I love my readers, I appreciate them, but I also know that writing solely for the readers—and not for myself—I’ll miss out on writing some awesome characters, male and female alike. Everyone has an opinion, and I don’t blame anyone for theirs. 🙂

So, I will continue to write my annoying females, my evil females, my gloriously sweet females, and my females who walk the gray area of good and bad. I love diversity in all my characters, and I just can’t convince myself to write differently.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 26, 2011 4:42 pm

    For some people the sole criteria for a female character being annoying is that she is in their m/m novel. “No Females in My Fiction” was the rallying cry last time around. I was horrified. and i got sarcastic about Gaytopia.

    But I write female characters. I have villainesses, friends, professionals our heroes must interact with from nurses to ministers to waitresses, mothers and more. They aren’t perfect. One mom is pleased her son is doing well but isn’t thrilled he has a white boyfriend. (nothing against the boyfriend, just that he’s white) Sarah passes herself as our hero’s wife all the while scheming to ensnare him into marriage. I like women in my stories.

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