Writing with Women

Welcome back, loyal listeners! We’ve got a few special treats for you. First, Heather Luby joins us to talk about Writing with (for, about, etc.) Women. Her voice is a bit of a blast from the past, and, as always, her insights are transformational. Additionally, Eliza Rickman (elizarickman.com or elizarickman.bandcamp.com) graciously allowed us to use her music on this cast. Some fantastic music. Check her out. Buy her stuff. And, lastly, I’m going to provide show notes! Remember those! They will be brief, but thorough. Efficient. At least I hope they will. As always, you can listen and view below.

Writing with (for, about, etc.) Women:

  • Publishing term of the day: ARC — Advanced Reader Copy. These are unedited copies sent out to “beta” readers for the purposes of endorsements, reviews, editing, etc.
  • Writing about women. Things to keep in mind:
    • Women are readers, and often will read outside their genre
    • Just as in writing any character, you need to avoid clichés and stereotypes
      • The “doting” or “perfect” mother
      • The innocent grandmother
      • The “crazy” feminist
      • The “damsel” in distress
      • The “shrew” wife
    • DO use real women as examples
    • DO make her relevant to the plot—(avoid the “token” woman)
    • GIVE her other women to interact with
    • TRY CHANGING a character from a man to a woman—how does it alter their interactions? Does it create more tension?
    • MAKE them matter—they have their own motivations. Avoid “women for women’s sake”
    • MAKE them relatable—if they have believable motivation, they will be relatable.



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