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Thread: What Makes A Good Female Character?

  1. Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    There is FOR SURE a family thing going on in Aliens (Newt calls Ripley "Mommy" at a pivotal character moment, Dwayne and Ellen drop names and meaningful glances ) but they wrote her as a dude in Alien.
    I've read the same thing. I'm sure they may have shoehorned some more feminine character traits into the script once Weaver was cast in the role just because (there's a deleted scene where Ripley and Lambert discuss if either of them had boned Ash...ProTip: neither did), but for the most part if you read her lines/actions straight from the script there's nothing overtly, blatantly female about her.

    I think they wrote all the characters in Alien genderless (read: dudes). I'm not going to google to check because whatever, man.
    That works since they're all supposed to be bad-ass marines and you only get to know their last names...which has always been this weird constant in the Alien movies. If you're on a two-year space voyage with someone, wouldn't you eventually start to refer to them by their first name?

    I would have really liked to see that "The Adventures of Hicks, Ripley and Newt the Kickass Space Family" Alien 3 that never happened, btw.
    Yeah, me too. Bummer. The concept art for that movie was so intriguing, too.

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  2. Quote Originally Posted by Fe 26 View Post
    Its hard for me to say what makes a good female character because I'm male. On one hand you can just write a character like you would a man, then make them female. That way you don't fall into tropes and the character seems more genuine.

    But then you run the risk of making the character sterile and devoid of the impact female biology has on women. But that's hard for even women to write because all women are different, so they usually play it safe and avoid it.

    Like can anyone really remember anything where women were really written like women? And all of them in the cast? Like their hormones cycle and that impacts small things in their personality? Or that women typically respond with fear in situations that would anger men (thats not an IPism, that came from a study. Women experience fear like 80% more than men)? Or the special traumas they experience as children and how that impacts how they think differently?

    Sure some stuff tackles that, but then it becomes the primary focus of the fiction. The whole story becomes the pain of childbirth and how the MC hates her mother.

    What about something where a secretary gets anxiety because her boss reminds her of her mother who hit her, and we're never allowed to know that? Because thats real life. Thats how women really work. Or the secretary that goes and cries in the bathroom everyday because she's miscarried 10 times. Again, the viewer never gets to know that. They just get to see the edges of how it impacts her job. Thats real life. Thats how real women work. There is a hidden world, and it either becomes the primary focus of a story or is completely removed and the women are mostly written like men.

    I suppose that if you did try to write characters like that, the viewer might hate it, because those characters would seem crazy or poorly written. You wouldn't understand their motives. But eh, thats life.
    A lot of times, art is more about excluding things than including everything. What you describe might be a more "real" person, but a shitty character.

    All characters are caricatures. Everything is Chekov's gun, if you're going to spend storytime on a detail then it needs to have a point. This does bring up the issue with Straight White Male as the default, because anything deviating should have a reason in the story to do so.
    Why are you reading this? go to your general settings and uncheck the Show Signatures box already!

  3. Dana Scully and the women in The Deuce on HBO are the only three dimensional female characters I’ve ever seen in any dramatic visual media. Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs is close, too - but it’s a little tough since Hannibal is such a caricature. So in that case, you have a three dimensional woman bouncing her dialogue off a caricature and it undermines her own story a bit.

    I personally stick “badass sci fi women” in a different category because I think by nature a sci fi film is trying to achieve a different goal than a purely dramatic one. But Ripley would def be a good sci fi woman, absolutely.

    To make a good three dimensional female character, you need to read more books penned by women. Obviously I’m not talking about shitty romance novels, but start with critically acclaimed female authors (Toni Morrison, Didion, Harper Lee, Shelley, etc.) and you can get a better idea of how a woman’s thought process works.
    Quote Originally Posted by dechecho View Post
    Where am I anyway? - I only registered on here to post on this thread

  4. Oh, and I hate to bring this up bc it’s a cliche, and the authors meant it as a joke - but a good question to ask yourself about a character is “Does this pass the Bechdel test?”
    Quote Originally Posted by dechecho View Post
    Where am I anyway? - I only registered on here to post on this thread

  5. True, if Hannibal was the exact same character with the same dialogue, but a woman, that would have made that scene better.
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  6. that would give a really different and VERY erotic thriller dimension to the series lol (I’m down for that)
    Quote Originally Posted by dechecho View Post
    Where am I anyway? - I only registered on here to post on this thread

  7. #17

  8. #18
    He's not completely wrong. Women and men like characters like that. They get tired of the rules of life and like to live vicariously through a fictional trickster or dark hero. That's part of the popularity of batman.

  9. #19
    Or any superhero really. There is almost no accountability.

  10. #20
    You even see it in young men's anime. Dragonball z almost always takes place in literal nowhere places with no people. GaoGaiGar has a magic tool that creates a fight space.

    People love having accountability removed.


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