Friday, April 5, 2013

Genderizing Kids Books

One of my pet peeves, working in a bookstore, is that modern kids' literature is so gender-segregated.  Perhaps it was this way when I was a child, before the advent of YA, but I honestly don't remember it being so.

This is really concerning to me because--and I'm fairly certain I've written about this in earlier posts--strong female characters (aka positive role-models for preteen and teen girls) drew me into SFF.  But these books weren't written solely by women, nor were they primarily for girls, but for an audience at large.

With parents and kids reinforcing that some topics are "for girls" and some topics "for boys" we reinforce gender norms that aren't so realistic.  I thought the 60's through 80's taught us that.  I want to progress towards developing believable male characters and female characters and a plot line that does not cater to one gender over another.

See, my fear is that if kids grow up reading gendered fiction that they will expect the same things from adult-level literature.  That not only closes plenty of doors for girls on books with powerful, fictional role-models, but on whole topics that should not be divvied up as "masculine" or "feminine."

I don't even want to speculate as to the societal ramifications of these ideas existing in a modern context...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


It's that time again, IWSG, where we share success and insecurities about writing.

Last month I made great headway on my WIP.  I separated all of my characters and am writing each of their stories up to the climax, and then I'll tie everything together.

I found that when I do it this way it's easier for me to focus and spend a lot of time with one character.  I am also hoping that I get rid of any time issues I've had in previous incarnations of this work.  Character growth and change *should* be easier to spot.

Biggest insecurity:

This Blog. I had so much enthusiasm when I started and now, I guess I am not so confident that what I have to say or share is in anyway helpful, meaningful or interesting.  While posts helped me while I wrote less fiction, finding a balance while I *am* writing, is proving more difficult than I expected.  I regain focus in my fiction, and lose it for the blog.

I have tried different approaches and they haven't been holding my interest.  Perhaps it is that I have given this blog too narrow of a focus and I should allow more flex in it to meet my needs.

Don't have that one worked out yet.  Do I want to continue blogging? Yes.  Do I need inspiration?  Definitely.  Maybe it's time for another makeover ....

I do those way too often, a clear reepresentation of my indecision, for sure.  But to be fair, I have in my life been in a point of flux and change the last few years, and all the old systems just don't work anymore.  I've changed my approach to novel writing for what works for the *new me* and I've been in the process of changing my life to match.

It then makes sense that I have to find a way to make my online persona (and blog) a match as well.  So, a makeover it is.   *sigh*