Gender

Q&A

What Words Should I Use for My Non-Human Species?

questions and answer talk bubbles

My main issue lies in alternate terms for “humanity” and “mankind” when humans don’t exist. my world is an Earth replacement in an alternate universe. I’ve taken time meticulously worldbuilding, even outside what I’d ever need for my story, just for my own enjoyment. … read more »

Storytelling

A Field Guide to Six Infectious YA Clichés

Dear YA novelists of all shapes and sizes: there is an infestation spreading through the ranks of our beloved genre. Distorted by centuries* of grotesque overexposure and abhorrent inescapability, these clichés have wormed their way into even the best-intentioned novels. Watch out! They may be … read more »

Analysis

Six Underdeveloped Love Interests

Angel looking evil.

Storytellers setting out to create a love story face many obstacles, and one of the more serious obstacles is an underdeveloped love interest. This is what you get when the protagonist’s sweetheart doesn’t seem like a complete character in their own right. They might just … read more »

Commentary

Five Signs Your Story Is Sexist – Against Men

A muscled Riddick broods on his throne.

You’d think patriarchy would be good for men, but it isn’t. Patriarchy enforces strict standards of masculinity that are impossible to meet. But because masculine traits are glorified, it’s easy to lose sight of how toxic they are to men. As storytellers, we may think we’ve created strong central characters when … read more »

Commentary

Five Signs Your Story Is Sexist

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if making a story sexism-free was as easy as not being a misogynist jerk? Unfortunately, living in a patriarchal society means that sexism feels normal to most of us. If you want to prevent sexist tropes from getting into your work, you have to learn about them. Read more »

Worldbuilding

Matriarchies, Patriarchies, and Beyond

Mythcreants hosted a panel at this year’s GeekGirlCon in Seattle. Chris, Oren, Rhys, and I discussed gender in spec fic and how you can create matriarchal, patriarchal, or egalitarian societies for your stories. It was a lively event with many challenging questions from the audience. … read more »