Screw writing “strong” women. Write interesting women. Write well-rounded women. Write complicated women. Write a woman who kicks ass, write a woman who cowers in a corner. Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband. Write a woman who doesn’t need a man. Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who don’t take no shit, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks. THEY ARE ALL OKAY, and all those things could exist in THE SAME WOMAN. Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people. So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong. Write characters who are people.
You focus on the wrong stuff. It’s true, you are terrible at a lot of things, but there are a couple things that nobody else does as well as you do. It drives me bananas that you will — you will throw yourself away completely because of one or two things that you think about that you think are wrong about you. And that’s what breaks my heart … You gotta ignore those and lean towards the things that make you like yourself. Forget everything else. Fake it. Fake your way upwards.
The National’s lead singer Matt Berninger to his brother Tom, in Tom’s documentary “Mistaken for Strangers” (via monkeyknifefight)
Harington chafes at the idea that Thrones is pure teenage male fantasy. “There was a New York Times piece, which I felt was misguided because it made out that Game of Thrones is a fanboy’s wet dream,” says Harington. “It’s not a boys’ show. The strongest characters are women: Catelyn, Cersei, Daenerys.” Besides the strong feminist role models, he says, “there are female fans who enjoy the show for nudity too, who show up to Comic-Con screaming and make you feel like a rock star. I understand, looking at Nikolaj. He’s like a demigod; it’s ridiculous.
there’s literally nothing stopping you [from doing this thing that costs money]
people with money. only people with money (via daxsymbiont)
During the act of reading engaging fiction, we can lose all sense of time. By the final chapter of the right book, we feel changed in our own lives, even if what we’ve read is entirely made up.
Research says that’s because while you’re engaged in fiction—unlike nonfiction—you’re given a safe arena to experience emotions without the need for self-protection. Since the events you’re reading about do not follow you into your own life, you can feel strong emotions freely.
The key metric the researchers used is “emotionally transported,” or how deeply connected we are to the story. Previous research has shown that when we read stories about people experiencing specific emotions or events it triggers activity in our brains as if we were right there in the thick of the action.
Motive is what gives moral to a character’s acts. What a character does, no matter how awful or how good, is never morally absolute: What seemed to be murder may turn out to have been self-defense, madness, or illusion; what seemed to be a kiss may turn out to have been betrayal, deception, or irony.
We never fully understand other people’s motives in real life. In fiction, however, we can help our readers understand our characters’ motives with clarity, sometimes even certainty. This is one of the reasons why people buy fiction — to come to some understanding of why people act the way they do.
A character is what he does, yes — but even more, a character is what he means to do.