Friday, August 7, 2009

Writing Like a Girl

I spent a good part of my youth trying not to be a girl. Had I lived in a pre-feminist era, I might have spent a great deal more of my life trying not to be a woman.

I am at home in my own skin, now, and thinking hard about my responsibilities as a writer to write characters of different background, race, gender, and sexuality. A lot of books out there are very white, and very straight.

I hope at some point to follow in such footsteps as Ellen Whittlinger, Erica Orloff, and Justine Larbalestier, who have eclectic casts of characters.

And I feel badly for this writer, who didn't have a history, really of trying not to be a girl. Bias, anyone?


  1. OMG, I clicked on the link to Bev. Hilarious and awful at the same time!!!

    I was always an eccentric, but have gotten more so in my old age, I guess. So for me . . . good girl was never an option. Weird girl . . . maybe. :-)

  2. Erica--I hope you don't mind being mentioned in a blog post. I'm not sure what proper blogging etiquette dictates.

    Being weird is good. I still cringe whenever anyone tells me I do anything "like a girl".

  3. I'm so with you on this one. I was mistaken for my brother a lot and it made me much happier than being me.

    We do need more types of characters in books.

  4. Welcome, Sarah! Ellen Whittlinger gave a great talk on this subject at the NESCBWI last spring. Were you at the LA conference this past weekend? I guess it's still going on. Thanks for 'stalking' me!

  5. Heather:
    I link all the time and don't tell people. LOL!

  6. Not at the LA conference this year. Too many people for me. I'm thinking about going next year though. Just because. And I want to do NY sometime.

    My favorite plan is to go to Bologna, Italy when the SCBWI conference there coincides with the International Children's Book Festival. That's in the even years. (Talk about too many people)

  7. That would be exciting. Any excuse to go to Italy! The LA conference did seem intense.