Sunday, 3 February 2013

Failing the Bechdel Test

This week I thought I'd draw attention to my recent guest blog post, Giant Thief, Crown, Thief and How to Fail the Bechdel Test, recently up at Fantasy Faction.

In it, I talk about what I hoped to achieve with Giant Thief and Crown Thief, in terms of portraying a strong, believable female character and avoiding some of the classic pitfalls of genre writing, how in the end I got some pretty major things wrong, and how that's gone on to shape my choices in regards to Prince Thief.

I think it's the best of the guest posts I've done; certainly it's the one that most thought and effort went into.  I wrote it - very slowly! - over a period of months, and probably a large part of why it took so long was that I was figuring out my own thoughts and feelings as I went along.  But, if I'm pleased with the final result, I'm also conscious that this is me dipping a toe into a very big ocean.  I have a huge amount still to learn, to figure out, and I'm not even close to having all the answers.

Then again, I'm not sure that anyone has, and isn't that the fun of any discussion?  Because, the truth is, there are two main reasons I'd take time to talk about subjects like gender parity and the Bechdel test.  One I discuss in the article itself, and its that I want to tell good stories and I'm not convinced any more that stories that seriously ignore or diminish one audience in favour of another can reliably be considered good.  But the other is ... and maybe I should whisper this! ... that I really love a good debate.

So it was great to come back to my guest post a few days after it went up and see that that was exactly what had come of it.  In fact, the discussion that followed is arguably much more interesting than my own article.  I was a little sad that I hadn't noticed it in time to take part, until I noticed that my Angry Robot and Zeno stablemate Anne Lyle had said just about everything I'd have liked to say, and far more ably than I would have.

Incidentally, Anne also beat me to the punch on writing about failing the Bechdel test - yet another of the strange parallels between our careers that have led me to suspect that one of us is a figment of the other's imagination, or possibly an evil twin.  Anyway, you can (and should) read Anne's piece over at her blog, right here.

No comments:

Post a Comment