Writing females characters

I wanted to preface something before starting this post–well a couple of things really. First off, I did take a week break from posting an entree and I updated that on my social media pages. (A reminder that my social media is at the top of my page. Just have to click on one of the icons) The reason I did that is that I landed a bigger workload, so I couldn’t pump out a half baked entree. I had a handful of ideas and I wanted to give it my all. The second thing I wanted to talk about is the subject of this post. I’m going to talk about how I personally write female characters as a male writer. What I think a majority of male writers do wrong and how it should be improved. I’m aware this can be a bit of a touchy subject, so I figured I should warn you before I got too far into it. Without further ado, I’ll begin.

Now as also a bit of a warning, I’m going to use some examples of writing that portray bad examples and bad examples. As well as saying how I do it in my own writing. I believe in starting positive, so I’m going to dive into an example of how a good female character should be written.

Hiromu Arakawa’s Full Metal Alchemist

If you’ve read a handful of my posts, then you might have figured out I’m a fan of anime. I’m a fan of a lot of different mediums, but when picking out a brilliant example of well written female characters, I had to use Fullmetal Alchemist as my number one choice. Specifically, I’ll be talking about the character Riza Hawkeye.

Hawkeye is one of the best written female characters I’ve ever seen. The first thing to notice is she isn’t showing a lot of skin. The character is a Lieutenant for the military and if you anything about the military, they have a clean-cut look. A respectful appearance, so it makes no sense to make her anything except that–respectful. “Fan service” is a big problem when it comes to writing characters. It’s no secret that sex sells; so why not just go with what sells? In my head, I’ve always been the same way. A character should be true to the role they play in the story. There’s nothing wrong with making a character who is a sex symbol, but remember not everything is meant to be a male fantasy. Male writers tend to be disrespectful when writing their female characters because of their own personal influences. Remember that anybody can read what you write, including people that might take offense to what you put on paper.

Now I won’t keep lecturing about appearance, because that’s not the only issue. There’s a common notion of how a character should act based on the gender you assign them. A male character should be strong and a natural-born leader whereas a female character should support them and often fall under the damsel in distress trope. What people seem to miss is that it’s possible to write a supporting character without making them seem less important. Yet again, Riza is a good example of how to do it correctly. She is the Lieutenant for Roy Mustang, so in every sense she supports him. In doing this, Arakawa wrote her a way that didn’t make her seem smaller because of this fact. Just like Roy, Hawkeye has her own ambitions. She doesn’t waver from them just because she’s in a lesser position than he is. She is her own character and her own person. I always feel like a poorly written female character who supports a stronger male character typically falls flat if he’s not around. It almost makes it seem like they aren’t their own person and only finds value through another. These characters are always written for the development of the stronger one and are typically killed off for the sake of said development. Up until the end, Hawkeye stood true to her beliefs and not even Roy Mustang could stop her; especially during a pivotal moment in the series where things got difficult for her. I’ll provide an example of this in a clip from the anime down below. There is a spoiler warning in effect, so please only watch it if you’ve seen the series.

I think this scene is a perfect example of what I’m trying to say. It shows off many things, one of the main ones being equality. Mustang is a man of power; he holds power over Hawkeye when it comes to rank. Still, she pulls her gun on her own superior when he falls out of line. She knows what the right thing is, and she does it. Hawkeye finds herself as a burden to the world as she holds the secrets to flame alchemy and thinks it should die with her. In a sense, it does fall under the same principle of him being the main reason she keeps going. The difference is, the characters are of equal importance to each other. Hawkeye would rather kill the one person keeping her going rather than seeing him act solely on hatred and revenge. Mustang couldn’t bear Hawkeye losing her life for something he’s responsible for and he backs off. I love the symbolism right at the end when Roy falls to the ground, leaving Hawkeye to be the one standing above him only for her to fall with him. In my eyes, this is a perfect example of how to show off the importance of a female character supporting a stronger male character. In my eyes, neither one was more important than the other. I think the dynamic was written with the utmost respect which made me respect it. Now that I’ve talked about the good… let’s talk about the bad.

Natsu and Lucy from Fairy Tail

I’m gonna talk bad on a probably loved ship from a very popular Shonen Jump anime. First off, I want to say that I don’t hold anything against Fairy Tail itself. I personally have seen and enjoyed the series. Behind the heavy amounts of fan service, the anime has good messages and many hard-hitting emotional moments. Along with some very good character backstories that make you feel for them. Out of all things Hiro Mashima does right, writing female characters respectfully falls a little flat–at least in my opinion. There are some characters that have solid foundations, but it is hidden behind a desire to knock their clothes off anytime a fight begins. However, that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about the characters Lucy and Natsu.

Natsu is, by all purposes, the protagonist. From her first scene, it’s clear that Lucy is meant to be a supporting character to Natsu. Throughout the series, she’s shown as needing him to save her time and time again. What has always frustrated me is that Lucy has proven that she’s strong. She’s a celestial wizard and with certain keys, she can control celestial spirits. She once even summoned the Celestial King because she willed it and yet most of the time she falls as too weak to protect herself, often hoping that Natsu will save her. She has strong independent moments, but that’s often overshadowed by Natsu. She has some good development during certain story arcs, but most of the time she’s seen as depending fully on Natsu or other stronger characters. Now, I’m not saying that Mashima doesn’t know how to write a strong female character, but a lot of them do fall under that male fantasy idealogy. Now this isn’t a shot at the writer, because that’s pretty common even to more modern animes. The biggest one I could think of is My Hero Academia. It’s one of my favorite series, but even then there’s a large gap between the male and female characters.

So what’s my take after all of this? How do I write my female characters? Well, I write them as intended. I stay true to the character I mean them to be despite the gender I’ve given them. I don’t change it up give in to whatever is popular, I write them true to the story in my head. I think this is true for all aspects of character creation. This can include sexuality, gender, tropes, and even race. I think about what I want them to be in my head and that’s what I go with. Sex may sell, but I’ll always write the story that I want to write.

This has always been a glaring issue that I’ve always wanted to talk about. We live in a world where women have made a lot of advances from how many disadvantages they had in our history. Still, a problem persists. I fully believe that how we portray our characters–fictitious or not–has a direct impact on society. Write a male character who isn’t the focal point or the strongest character in that story. Write a female character who is her own person and doesn’t rely on others for her own identity. Don’t be afraid to go outside the box and write something society would deem wrong. Write the story you want to write, not the story you think the people want to read.

I want to end this by saying that this is entirely my personal opinion. If you disagree or agree, I’d like to know, so don’t be afraid to tell me.

That about wraps up all my thoughts. As always, I’ll see you again next week and thanks for reading. 🙂

Let’s Talk About COVID-19

Ah yes, I think it was inevitable to talk about this subject. I want to start this post by prefacing that I am not an expert or have any medical experience. I speak about this pandemic as a normal person living his day-to-day life in its wake. However, I couldn’t let this week pass without talking about it. I understand that this topic is already starting to get a bit old, but it needs to be talked about.

I’ll start by saying that, personally, I’m fine. I live in North Dakota which only has one confirmed cased. I’m very fortunate to live where I do with such a small risk of getting infected. I wanted to talk about this disease because of the panic that’s ensued since it was labeled as a pandemic. These opinions are directed at the United States and no one else. After all, China has already taken fantastic measures in order to contain the virus and other countries are worse off–far worse off. In fact, I read this morning that Italy has surpassed 2,500 deaths.

So what should we do? I’m sure you’ve heard in the news to limit contact and to–I don’t know–wash your hands. (I must say, the fact that people aren’t washing their hands is utterly ridiculous) The point isn’t just to limit contact and keep your hygiene in check, it’s to not panic. Since this outbreak has started, Americans have gone into a state of panic. I have a friend who works in retail who snapped this picture.

Shelves completely wiped out to stock our shelves with hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Hand sanitizer I kind of get, but toilet paper? There also have been reports of people wiping the shelves from milk. That’s right, I said milk. Dairy expires unless you’re planning on freezing it. In my opinion, there should be a different message that the media needs to tell us. One telling us what we should be stocking in the matter of a worst-case scenario. Buying perishable foods and not milk and toilet paper. This essentially boils down to get what you need to be prepared, but make sure you’re leaving plenty for others. Stop panicking. It’ll all be okay as long as you keep a level head. I promise.

There’s probably a lot more to cover, but I think you’ll get plenty of that from the media. Remember to wash your hands, stay calm, and make sure there’s plenty of toilet paper and milk. Be kind to the other people trying their best to prepare for the worst. Above all else, be kind to the retail workers who are forced to serve you despite the inherent risk of exposure to the disease.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week. 🙂


I don’t know where the ideas for these posts come from anymore. This week I can say one thing for sure: there are no references some might not get. It’s just a thought that I’ve been having so I figured I should write about it. I write about them a lot and it’s an interesting term to me. The term hero. There’s the hero that references a protagonist to a story and also there are personal heroes. Not everyone has them, but maybe you have a person you consider a hero. Is that person worthy of that title? I was wrapping my brain all week to think of an idea to write about, so this will have to do. (Expect this to be shorter, I don’t feel much coming from this one.) As per usual, if you didn’t catch the last blog entree, you can find it here as long as checking the blog section out to see other ones.

Now that I took 15 minutes trying to find an image that wasn’t from My Hero Academia, I can begin. I feel like this is a popular genre in writing as long as a powerful word. (Senseless plug of my book Heroes and Vigilantes. Link to the projects section where you can read about that) It’s such a small word, only 4 letters, yet holds a lot of weight. A hero, by definition, is a person who is admired or idealized. Usually this is because of heroic feats or good deeds. A hero doesn’t have to be good though, right? Where mainstream media has turned it into people with capes and a giant S in their chest, that doesn’t necessarily mean every hero is a good person. You can look up to somebody who does bad things and still call them your hero. Should you? That’s not my question to answer. A lot of times fathers are often seen as heroes to their kids, but constantly they walk out on them.

Lost in a haze of unorganized thoughts, I think my point isn’t who you see as your hero. The point is how you should act if you are a role model. If you have someone that looks up to you, you should act a certain way. We don’t always have a choice to become looked up to, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take that responsibility seriously. If we drop the hat in that situation, so does the person looking up to us. Think about it like this: have you ever been a senior? Unless you’re quite young, you probably have been one. It’s almost inevitable that at least one freshman will look up to someone in your class. To them you’re a cool senior who has it figured out, no matter how many hours you log into Minecraft in your free time. (Okay, that one might have just been me) I bet at some point a teacher told you to be good role models. Did you ask to be one? Not at all. You still have to be one though and that’ll probably happen again in your life. Whether it’s a kid or a niece, as humans we need to latch onto someone to get through life. Not everyone, but a lot of us need that. When you’re someone’s hero, will you be who they need you to be? That’s a question that even I don’t think I can answer.

It may have been a flow of thoughts that barely connected, but that’s all I got for you.

Thank you for reading and I’ll see you next week. 🙂

Dealing with Loneliness

As you can tell from the title, I didn’t choose a cheery subject for this particular post. I’d be lying if I told you all that each post would be all positive. I mean last week (which you can find here if haven’t caught up with it) I talked about wanting to create words that impacted those around me. This week I would say that I found a few drawbacks. Before I get into the seldom topic, let’s highlight what happened this week and why Deku and Bakugo are my featured image. (Also quick shout out to any all of the My Hero Academia fans reading this!)

I’ll start by talking about the two movies I saw this week with my brother. Both were an experience and would have been worth the 26 dollars if it weren’t for the horrible viewing experience. One was late and the other had crappy audio that wouldn’t have been fixed if it wasn’t for my brother both times. These movies were Sonic the Hedgehog and My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising.

This isn’t a blog reviewing these movies (also I apologize for two more references that might not be everybody’s cup of tea) but I was about to pull thoughts that were prevalent in both films. The seed was planted in my head while watching Sonic. If you care about not being spoiled about the movie of the lovable blue hedgehog, then you can click away. It’s not a major spoiler, but the warning still stays in effect. This theme is loneliness. In the movie, Sonic lives a pretty lonely life. Being told by his parental figure that he needs to stay out of sight. If he doesn’t, then the powers he possesses could be desired by others. Not a complicated theme, but when you see Sonic being so close to people he considers friends–friends who have never met him–a sad truth fits in: he’s alone.

Now how does this transition into the My Hero Academia movie? Well quite the opposite actually. I wouldn’t consider this a spoiler, but I’ll but a minor warning in there. The movie heavily revolves around a duo, ones shown as the mascots for the movie: Bakugo and Deku. Two people who have been friends since childhood and have found it hard to remain friends with their competitive spirits. They both strive to be the best, but there can only be one person who sits on top. Even if I don’t agree with that mindset, that’s the mindset of the series.

One movie with a person (even if he’s a blue hedgehog) willing to risk everything to not be alone and another about a complex relationship needing one another to overcome the obstacles in front of them. Now where does that leave me? After all, this is all fiction, right? Just the words of anxious writing (like myself) sitting at their computer thinking of the best ways to tug at the heartstrings of the fans. Well, no, not at all. As I mentioned last week, words are powerful. Maybe not to everybody, but they are to me. People always make movie references that I never get under the excuse of, “I don’t want movies”. The real reason behind that is that I physically can’t watch something without pulling the meaning out of it and comparing myself to said message.

I grew up lonely. Sure I had some amazing friends who I’ll cherish forever, but it’s no secret that I’m a quiet guy in person. Even being 25 now, there are times where I hide from everyone finding comfort in that loneliness. Now from here on out, I’m going to talk about something very personal to me. It may be too heavy for some to read, so you have my full permission to close out of this entree right now. I don’t blame you. If that’s the case, then thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week. 🙂


Alright, so you decided to read this despite the warning. I really wasn’t sure if I should post this or not. If it wasn’t for me wanting to write a new short story labeled “Five Days After” then I would never have dreamed of writing this post. I put it off so much that I’m writing the day of posting it. It all ties together with the above posts, I promise, so keep reading.

Savannah was my best friend. I knew her in long before college. We played Minecraft together until 7 am. I was never good at making friends in person, but when it came to what I wrote, people loved me. I think at some point, I let that go a little too far. Regardless, Savannah was there for me through the most horrible things. Despite being the perfect person in my life, she had a horrible flaw people call mental illness. The kind of sickness that makes you pop pills like they were candy. One that makes you lose control as if the reality you witness is the one you’re supposed to live in or the one doctors tell you is the “right” one. Below I want to put a video from the user Jetpack Jay. (I added a link to their Youtube channel. Please take a minute to check them out if their videos interest you. Those videos have helped me a lot!) The video is titled “Dear Best Friend…”

Dear Best Friend… by Jetpack Jay

This video has helped me a lot. Some may know this, but at the start of the second semester of college Savannah took her life. Her mental illness got the better of her, and she was taken from me. I was left utterly destroyed with my best friend being extracted from my life. The one person that made me feel like I was no longer alone.

Saying this means a lot to me. Since I usually keep this to myself and to close friends. If I never told you, it’s not because I don’t trust you, but because talking about it is hard for me. To bring this back to the main point of this entree, I’ve been battling that loneliness since I lost her. I’ve made mistakes that I feel like I wouldn’t have made if she was still around. The last few days I’ve battled that lonely feeling more than I have in the past.

The main reason I’m saying all this is to put it out there before I write the story “Five Days After” so you all know that what I write in there isn’t entirely fictitious; that mental illness isn’t a problem to be taken lightly; that if you’re lonely, it won’t always be that way; and above all, be thankful for the friends you do have. If you don’t have a solid friend, then contact me and I’ll fix that problem for you.

Thank you for reading and I’ll see you next week. 🙂