Everyone wants a “strong female character” …

… But what does this mean??

In produced content, the likes of Furiosa and The Wives in Mad Max Fury Road; Mako Mori in Pacific Rim; plus Brenda in The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials have exploded onto the silver screen in big budget blockbusters.

In television, behold Catherine in Happy Valley; our two leads in Scott and Bailey; Olivia Pope in Scandal; Piper, Sophia and friends in Orange Is The New Black; or Abi, Clarke, Lexa, Raven and Octavia in The 100.

Female characters in novels are wowing readers with their complexity and depth too, such as the alcoholic Rachel in Paula Hawkins’ Girl On The Train; or stranded Sophie in The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes.

This is YOUR competition, writers.

Yet the average female character in a spec screenplay or unpublished novel is nowhere near as well written as the above.

Sign up for The Ultimate Blueprint On How NOT To Write Female Characters, a FREE 28 page ebook exclusive to Bang2writers. Discover:

  • WHO your character is & how to avoid “classic” traps and pitfalls
  • WHAT mistakes writers typically make with female characters
  • WHERE you can find great female characters in produced content
  • WHEN to let go of gender politics and agendas
  • WHY female characters are more important than ever

Bang2write is on a mission to improve your writing, as well as enable diverse voices and characters to rise to the top of the spec pile.


The definitive guide to NOT writing female

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF (34MB) – it’s a large file, so be patient! 

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6 Responses to The Ultimate Blueprint on How NOT To Write Female Characters

  1. Neville says:

    Hi Lucy

    Thank you for the download ‘…write female characters’.

    So how else was I supposed to write a strong female protagonist, if weren’t for you and your ebooks?

    Take care.


  2. Madeleine says:

    Thank you so much! This came in very handy for me right now. I wasn’t really aware of all these things to take into consideration when writing about a female character versus a male one.

    • Lucy V Hay says:

      Yep, it can be a minefield! The key is remembering female characters need agency of their own and to drive the story 🙂

  3. Rob Aitchison says:

    Great article. Loved the ‘Bechdel test’ piece and just noticed something I was missing because of it. Wondered what you though of heroes like ‘Vera Drake’ and the relationship with her so called friend Lily who manipulates her good will to profit? Richly done I thought and proves a good few of your points!

    • Lucy V Hay says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! Re: VERA DRAKE, I’m afraid it’s been yonks since I saw it, so couldn’t answer with any real authority. I do enjoy seeing female characters who use their wiles and manipulative powers for evil, as well as good though. Women aren’t saints and it’s time writers – and audiences! – remembered this, I think. Personality first, gender second is more equal IMHO.

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