Archive for the 'Audience Characteristics: Gender' Category

Sep 01 2011

“My Publisher Beats Me Because It Loves Me” and Other Fun Links

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

I don’t agree with everything in this article about the publishing industry, which compares the average professional publisher to an abusive husband, but it might be really interesting, particularly if you were considering self-publishing before.


PS: One of the things the author complains about is awful cover-art. If that’s a problem for you, I’d recommend offering to pay a feelance illustrator (like Emily or Laura Dollie or Aguaplano or anyone that strikes your fancy here) to quickly do another version of the cover. The publisher might not actually end up using it, but I feel like it’d give you a good chance to undo a potentially costly mistake. (The faster the publisher sees the art, the easier it will be to use). Who knows, maybe even the publisher will comp you the $300-500.

The New York Times has a piece on encouraging novel-reading among boys.  As a child, I was really down on fiction because it felt very juvenile to me.  Almost all of the novels I read after turning ~9 were exclusively about adults doing adult things (frequently with firearms and axes).  Admittedly, my sample size of one is extremely small and idiosyncratic, but I just loathed young characters.


Some thoughts for parents trying to encourage their sons to read:

  • When your son(s) pick out video games or movies, how often do they reach for ones starring characters around their age?
  • If they tend to prefer adult protagonists in other media, why wouldn’t they prefer adult protagonists in books as well?
  • If your son is very literate but isn’t enthusiastic about novels with young characters, I’d recommend leaving some adult novels lying around.
  • Nonfiction is totally fine, too!  Some readers (particularly guys, I’ve noticed) are not particularly interested in fiction. That’s not a problem at all.  Extremely few educational and career paths require an enthusiasm for fiction.

9 responses so far

Jan 20 2011

Superheroes and Princesses

Virginia Postrel of the Wall Street Journal offers an interesting comparison: “The princess archetype embodies a feminine version of the appeal… The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay ascribes to superheroes. They express the ‘lust for power and the gaudy sartorial taste of a race of powerless people with no leave to dress themselves.'”  What do you think? Are the two that comparable? Any other observations, arguments or baseless insults?

20 responses so far