Tag Archive | Robin Hobb

Gender in Writing

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My son is all boy. He loves to run, ride his bike, play video games and go exploring. Over the New Year break, we went to see a movie. I expected him to throw a fit because it was the new version Annie. There were people between he & I, and what I saw every time I looked was my boy with his feet up on the chair in front of him, a fierce look on his face.

He loved it.

Now, when he takes a hit in daily life he says “It’s a hard knock life, huh, Momma?”

Yesterday, we went to the movies for my (still upcoming) birthday. He wanted to see Home (which isn’t out yet), I wanted to see Cinderella. His beef with Cinderella wasn’t that it was a girls movie (Home has a female protagonist as well), it was that Home was about real life, a real girl, mom! (Never mind the lavender alien and the flying cars). Turns out he loved Cinderella, too.

I don’t think I’ve been entirely fair with my son, at least in terms of movies. He has proven that he sees them as movies– not for girls, not for boys… just movies.

And the same goes for television, btw. He used to watch Sophia the First. He quit not because it was a girl’s show, but because he outgrew it. He will watch Monster High.

Then I started thinking about Legos. Maybe instead of trying to have a line specifically for girls (Except the Disney Princess– keep those!), they should try being more inclusive with in their sets. Adding women/girls isn’t that hard.

So now we get to the beast of the matter. The reason all these thoughts started popping through the percolator is that the story I’m working on, if I write it, will be almost entirely from a male point of view. I know women writers can do it, I’ve read them for crying out loud (Robin Hobb, Mercedes Lackey). But… the question becomes, can I?

In my last point, I talked of writers stretching their voice. Trying new things even if it was scary. I think this is the nextscary for me. Although…. Based on my son’s taste in entertainment, maybe it’s not that scary.

I’ll let you know.

What  are you working on in your writing to stretch yourself? What’s scaring you as a writer about the story?

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Keep your mitts off my books!

There’s been a ration of poo slung around this spring/summer regarding women in fantasy fiction and, more recently even romance. I kind of have to shake my head at these posturing potential potenates…. who don’t realize that if the conversation were fictionalized and thrown into a fantasy setting… well. They would not be the hero. Oh, no. They would definitely be the evil wizard/king/crybaby trying to force everyone into their own way of thinking. You shall not pass.

I mean really. Are you truly trying to tell me that Robin Hobb, Lynn Flewelling, Carol Berg and Mercedes Lackey are… lacking? Shame on you! Don’t like the new crop of fiction coming out? Don’t read it. But don’t presume to know what’s good for me.

What really saddens me is that these kind of arguments have been going on for a very long time. Because something is popular with them, the masses, women it must be inherently bad. Suck it up, buttercup, cuz those readers are still going to read the books they want to. They will buy them in droves, propelling them UP the NYT Best Seller list while your own languishes in the stacks. 
 Oh, and by the way? Shakespeare? Wildly popular with the masses. All those bawdy jokes, don’t you know.
While I was at CSU, I often hid what I was reading due to jack asses. Fantasy was fine, but let someone catch me with a romance? I cringed at the thought. Until someone tried to book shame me, in my creative writing class, and the professor said something to the effect of… well… You can support yourself with that sort of writing. Live very well, if you have the talent.
This was the same instructor who told us on our first day not to even try genre fiction (especially horror or sci-fi / fantasy) in his class. I was terrified when I went up to speak with him. But I write fantasy, I said. “Prove it,” he told me.  Turns out he’s not against the genre, just the bad habits of new writers. I wrote my first novel under his guidance, a work of fantasy fiction.
A lot of what I read and write has to do with belonging. About taking what you’ve got and making it work. Finding a way through the darkness. There are books who have held me up (Anne Bishop) during the worst time of my life, and others that echo those days and reinforce that we are survivors (Cathy Lamb). There’s the joy of love (Eloisa James, Julia Quinn), and family and friends.
If you’re so afraid of women in fiction, then I kind of have to ask. What are you so afraid of?
No matter the answer, keep your mitts off my reading material. I don’t need that sort of help.
Ogres need not apply.
 

Robin Hobb

I love Robin Hobb. I geeked out so hard on the Rainwild’s that I drove nearly everyone I knew insane. And Fitz and the Fool? Don’t even get me started. I love these two, and she’s starting a new series with them that comes out in August. (I was able to read the first book of the new series through NetGalley, but will wait to post my review until it comes out. Because, you know, that’s fair.)

Barnes and Nobles are having a sale on Robin Hobb’s books on Nook. You can Start the Rain Wilds for super cheap, but even more importantly, the first Fitz book, Assassin’s Apprentice, is only $0.99. For less than a buck (ok, a penny less, but still less), you too can get to know FItz and the Fool. This is important. 

This is very very important.

Because the new series featuring the two comes out in August. And Geek that I am for her..well, you’re gonna need to read the series leading up to it, otherwise… 

Well, you won’t be able to get your geek on with me. 

And we so want to get our geek on! 

This has been a public service announcement for the Epic Fantasy reading community at large.

WHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!