WipMarathon Final Check-in

Last Check-in Wordcount: 31,098.

Current Wordcount: 75,688.

Okay, so I’m a terrible wipmarathoner and haven’t checked in since the second week BUT despite getting sick in December and thinking there was no way I could meet my original goal, I actually ended up surpassing it! My goal was to write 40,000 words and I’ve written 50,000. Not only that, I’m within 3000 words of finishing this draft. So, despite the fact that I’ve been terrible at checking in, I’m super happy with what I’ve accomplished. 🙂

WIP Issues this week:

I did have a moment of panic the other day when I became aware of a potential problem with my story and suddenly decided that maybe the whole thing was a piece of crap. But once I calmed down I realized that the problem isn’t a huge deal and can be dealt with during edits. Other than that, this wip entirely took over my life this week. It was like I was possessed or something. I couldn’t stop writing, the words wouldn’t stop coming out of me. On Thursday I wrote around 3000 words, which is more than I’ve written in one day ever before. I’ve written about 35,000 words this month, which smashes my previous monthly record of 25,000 words. So, yay!

What I’ve learned during the marathon:

I’ve learned that I’m capable of writing much more in one month than I realized. I’ve also learned that even though a massive rewrite is extremely difficult, I can still handle it. Hopefully knowing that will help me with future projects.

Even though I didn’t participate much on the blogs, I’ve enjoyed being part of this wipmarathon. I hope everyone else is as happy with their progress as I am with mine! 🙂

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Strong Female Characters

Ever since I joined the online writing community a couple of years ago, I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of talk about strong female characters. Most of the talk is about how agents/publisher/readers want more such characters in fiction.

And that’s great. It really is.

The problem I have is that it seems as though the phrase “strong female character” is regularly equated with “kick-ass female character,” with “kick-ass” meaning physically strong and regularly beating up bad guys or supernatural creatures or whoever the enemy/antagonist might be. I’ve even come across submission guidelines that said (I’m paraphrasing), “I only like strong female characters so if your MC isn’t totally kick-ass don’t bother querying me.”

I don’t mind that an agent might only want to represent novels featuring kick-ass female characters. What I do mind is that, once again, physical strength and a propensity for fighting seem to be the only characteristics that can qualify a female character as strong.

Honestly, I find that sad. There are so many types of strength aside from physical strength.

Strength can be simply getting out of bed and getting through each day when dealing with chronic illness, a serious injury, a traumatic event, or any number of other circumstances.

Strength can be staying calm and keeping a family together during a crisis.

Strength can be continuing, day after day, to do what’s necessary to look after your loved ones or pursue your dreams in the face of great adversity.

Not being a physical fighter doesn’t make a character weak. Showing emotion doesn’t make a character weak. Male or female.

Yet, over and over again, I see strength equated with physical strength and lack of emotion when it comes to female characters in fiction. I refuse to allow that narrow definition to stifle my writing, my stories, or my characters.

I believe that I do write about strong female characters. Maybe they don’t always fit the definition of “kick-ass” but they’re strong nonetheless.