Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Men in Drag
I have a story in my head that wants to come out. There are quite a few bashing about in my head, but this one is being the most aggressive in its attempts to get my attention. I've been resisting it, holding it back. Why? Because the main protagonists in it are all women.
Writing women as a male writer is something I'm always worried about. I don't want them to come across as men in drag. The story that wants to be written is about three very strong women, but all of them flawed. I've come to know the three of them rather well, as they fight to get out of my head and onto the page. I know what they like, dislike, read, watch, eat, and do for fun. I know very intimate details about each one, including things they would never tell another soul.
I think they're well-developed characters, but there's a nagging voice inside my head that tells me that there's a problem. They are all very sexy women who take off their clothes on stage.
Comics are a male domain for the most part. Many comics feature attractive females in skin-tight outfits with gravity-defying breasts for the simple reason that males, in particular boys, like looking at pictures of these women. If I write this story, and by some miracle it gets drawn and published, is anyone going to notice the writing, or will it just be fodder for young boys to use under the blankets at night with a torch? Will anyone notice how well-rounded the personalities of the women are if their physical assets are also well-rounded?
By its very nature the story does contain 'sexiness'. There are scenes in my head that are rather provocative. Am I wanting to write this story to please the teenage boy that still lives inside of me, clutching his torch tight to his chest? Is that a bad thing? Can I then justify it by adding a veneer of characterization and sophistication over the sexiness?
Am I just trying to stop myself writing by over-rationalizing? Or do I just think too much?
Art copyright Simon Morse