To commemorate ten years since Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s television series end, Naomi Alderman of the BBC’s Radio 4 hosted a special on the series. She interviewed show creator Joss Whedon, Anthony Head (Giles), and series fan Neil Gaiman. Alderman also wrote a corresponding piece, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Legacy of a Teen Heroine, that appeared on BBC News, in which she says Buffy “still feels ahead of its time in its portrayal of women characters.” During his interview, Whedon weighed in on the matter:
“The self-actualised female who was in charge of things didn’t land quite as solidly…. I, too, have been somewhat disappointed… it feels almost like a backlash – we want to inoculate ourselves against this by giving you everything [Buffy] had without the feminism.”
Previously on FANgirl, I’ve connected the decline of the portrayal of female characters into the post-Buffy era and have stated that some fans, especially women, have felt that storytelling had taken a passive-aggressive stance against positive female characters. The Year of the Fangirl – 2013 – featured some remarkable shifts in the entertainment industry. But as Alderman notes, for the most part women are not portrayed as part of a team, which was a core reason the decade-old show worked:
So often now, a “strong woman” in a TV show or a movie will be almost entirely isolated from other women – from Katniss Everdene trying to survive the Hunger Games to Sandra Bullock’s character in Gravity, from Carrie Mathison in Homeland to Daenerys Targaryan . . . → Read More: The Legacy of Buffy: Fighting for the Team
The second film in the series, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, presents a fascinating intersection between book and movie because it must function not only as the adaptation of the second book, but also as the sequel to the first movie. . . . → Read More: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Storytelling as Adaptation and Sequel
Recapping the Mary Sue panel at GeekGirlCon 2013. . . . → Read More: GeekGirlCon 2013: Deconstructing the Mary Sue Myth Panel Recap
Allston discusses peer review as a tool for writers. . . . → Read More: Allston on Writing: Peer Review
While screenwriting isn’t the same as novel writing, many of the storytelling tools are comparable, and I’ve found that screenwriters often define those elements more clearly than novelists. . . . → Read More: This is Where the Fun Begins!
Are you writing frantically for NaNoWriMo? Are you trying to write the next dystopian bestseller?
Charlie Jane Anders’ article at io9 recaps discussions with publishing industry experts at the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto about the state of Young Adult publishing. The entire article is worth a read, especially for aspiring and published novelists. Here are the important takeaways:
The dystopian market is flooded, which isn’t that surprising considering everyone tried to produce the next Harry Potter, and the next Twilight.
“I do think the YA market is very tough now if not impossible for novels that are girl or boy vs. corrupt government,” says Sara Crowe, a literary agent with Harvey Klinger, Inc. And after the many, many dystopias that Hunger Games inspired, this book wouldn’t have the same feeling of originality it had back when it first appeared. At the same time, the darkness in Hunger Games “would be less of an obstacle than when it was first bought.”
Adults read YA for escapism. Trends are leaning toward action adventure for this reason.
Samantha Shea, a literary agent with Georges Bourchardt, Inc., brings up a startling fact: some 55 percent of buyers of young adult novels are 18 or older. In fact, the biggest share of total sales goes to people aged 30-44. And these books aren’t being bought as gifts for kids — 78 percent of them are for the adults’ own reading.
This isn’t shocking to the readers who buy these books. I’ve been saying this for a while on FANgirl. Life is tough, and there . . . → Read More: Hunger Games, Young Adult Fiction – What The Readers Already Knew
For all the high-profile events a Celebration convention can bring – Mark Hamill or Carrie Fisher, Last Tour to Endor or The Clone Wars Red Carpet Premiere, even The Maker himself – there is always great fun and insight to be had at the smaller, less prominent panels. One of this year’s true highlights for me was a Thursday evening panel in the Star Wars University room: Ryder Windham’s “Secrets of the Chiss Jedi,” discussing the Secret Missions young-readers series and its starring character, Nuru Kungurama. . . . → Read More: Celebration VI: Secrets of the Chiss Jedi
In his lecture “Laying Down Tracks,” Allston likens writing a novel to creating a polished musical recording in a studio. One at a time, a track of each different instrument and voice is captured and saved, then layered one on top of the other and meshed into harmonic excellence. He suggests that this process is transferable to writing a novel, and may in fact help you to write more efficiently or with greater speed. . . . → Read More: Celebration VI: EU Author Allston Lays Down Tracks
Ultimately telling Olympic stories is no different than any other type of storytelling. Great stories exist in the hearts of the people that create them; they can’t be manufactured. . . . → Read More: Olympics, Storytelling, and All Things Being Equal
Ridley Scott and Brian Wood share something in common in their backgrounds with Joss Whedon, and they’re also known for writing strong female characters. . . . → Read More: Men On Writing Strong Female Characters