Why write a character like Naiche? by Felicia Watson
Posted on April 22, 2021
by Jeyran Main
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If I had to pick the one question that I’ve been asked the most often about my Lovelace series, it’s that one. With the third book in the series dropping this month, I’m finally going to try and answer it.
Why did I choose to write such a complicated (and yes, often controversial) character? It’s simple – I enjoy reading complicated, flawed characters and I haven’t found enough women characters in science fiction who fit the bill. So, I wrote one. It’s an interesting question as to why there aren’t more deeply flawed female MCs. Maybe since the male was considered as the default option for so long, most female characters were there for a “reason”. From the hooker with a heart of gold to the ingénue, to the Florence Nightingale, they fulfilled a specific role and were, therefore, all fairly one-dimensional.
The defining flaw/characteristic I gave Naiche, especially in book one, “We Have Met the Enemy”, was her anger. Her anger certainly caused most of her problems and made her, apropos of the title, her own worst enemy. The rewarding part was growing her out of that angry, self-centered person and bringing the reader along for the ride. Naiche had to face up to her culpability and blind spots: to do what we all must do to grow – own your shit and do better.
Anger, though an interesting character flaw, proved to be a tricky one; many readers reacted negatively. I think male MCs with a trigger temper are more palatable, more familiar to many readers – while an angry female MC was viewed as unlikeable, even unredeemable. I knew, or at least suspected, that going in so the controversial part didn’t faze me. And the many readers who loved Naiche and cheered her on as she matured and developed, more than made up for the ones who wrote her off by chapter two.
In book two, “Spooky Action at a Distance”, I strove to further Naiche’s character growth by having her face up to an old grudge, take on more responsibility, and even start to fall in love. To not only accept her connections to other people but to finally embrace them.
What’s left for “Risks of Dead Reckoning”? Besides fleshing out that romance for Naiche, I decided to have some fun. I introduce a new, truly flawed female character – Moira, a girl who’s more annoying and oblivious than Naiche ever was on her worst day. Moira and Naiche get thrown together on a perilous journey, which will try Naiche’s patience, test her maturity, and tax her ingenuity. I hope you’ll join all of us on this adventure!
Written by Felicia Watson
Felicia Watson started writing stories as soon as they handed her a pencil in first grade. She’s especially drawn to character driven tales, where we see people we recognize, people who struggle with their mistakes and shortcomings, acknowledge them, and use that knowledge to grow into wiser human beings.
When not writing, Felicia spends her time chasing after her not-so-brilliant, but darling and beloved dogs, is chased by her truly brilliant, darling and beloved husband, is known to friends and family as an amateur pastry chef, and still finds time for swimming and her day job as a scientist.
Facebook page: @FeliciaWatsontheAuthor
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