A few years ago, I wrote a novel about a girl who goes off in search of her “other half.” Now, if you take a look at most YA, dystopian novels, this is no new idea. So many YA novels feature a girl who goes off in search of a man because oftentimes, girls may feel as if they need to be loved to be worthy of something. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about the notion, but a lot has changed since then and I’ve learned a lot (most of which has made me even more cynical than I already was, but hey, what can you do?) and now I look back on my novel and wonder how I can change it to make it better fit my ideas about that sort of thing.
Of course, as we get older, we learn more and, hopefully, our views of the world become broader. This, in turn, affects how we write. While I’ve always been aware of feminism, it wasn’t until more recently that I truly realized what it meant and it’s begun to affect me in ways I didn’t ever expect. It makes me want to write new and different things. It makes me sad when I read or watch things I used to like and wonder how much I’ve missed while being ignorant.
The easy solution is to be your own solution. If you can’t change the world, you can change the world in your own writing and hope it will help someone else out there. I used to barely write female characters as main characters but now I feel as if I want to more. I want to write strong characters, weak characters, mean, nice, shy, outgoing, everything in between.
The moral of the story is: if you want to write it, write it. Don’t be afraid of social constructs that say you can’t or shouldn’t. Even if it never goes anywhere – never gets published – you can solve the problems of the world in your own little novel. My novel about the girl, well, I’m going to go back and make sure it says what I want it to. It was originally meant to be a commentary on marriage but it seems likely that it will evolve far beyond that in the future.