Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Gender Stereotypes in Fantasy
I was recently thinking about what the general public thinks of gender stereotypes, specifically in fantasy novels….
When I sat down to write Covenant of the Faceless Knights, I wanted to create a core group of characters that were slightly different from the norm, but not so different that I would get bored of writing about them! I knew from the start that I wanted to write a series, which meant several books about the same characters and their interaction in my Realm of Ashenclaw setting. I began to create my core group of characters, I set out with a specific goal in mind, like when I created the female barbarian character, Saeunn of Chansuk, for instance. I wanted a physically strong female role to ride into battle with a greatsword strapped to her back, unleashing fury on the wrongdoers of Wothlondia instead of the typical male warrior. I felt that this might attract a new breed of fantasy reader that might welcome a strong female warrior type that could deliver hardcore action! This was a conscious decision. As was the naïve and non-violent male elf. I wanted to portray a sheltered elf that could possibly have existed for some forty years of age, but had never really experienced much in the way of the world and especially combat.
Another strong female role was the thief archetype, Rose Thorne. I wanted to cast away the idea that the woman here was simply a presence that remained in the back and supported the group. I wanted to have her possess a dark side as well as have a strong role in the group. She also uses a strong sarcasm to deflect attention and her wise cracks will only grow as she gets to know the group.
So, how do you like your characters? Do you want to see the damsel in distress or the woman that can not only handle herself, but might beat you in an arm-wrestling contest?
Do you need to have your men in the front lines or can they take a back seat in a support role?
Let me know your thoughts—I’d love to hear from you all!
See you in Wothlondia! Cheers!
Please visit MY HOME PAGE to enjoy an extended reading experience, see direct links to purchase Covenant of the Faceless Knights and to see what else Ashenclaw Studios, LLC has in store in the future!
Photos from Stock.xchng.
All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios, LLC 2011 unless otherwise noted.