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Female Friendships

I was hoping to do a post today entitled: ALL THE COLORS Pt. 2.

Obviously I’m not doing that, which is because I haven’t yet attempted what I planned to attempt in ALL THE COLORS. I’m still planning it, but I haven’t got all my supplies out of the boxes they’re in yet. I’ll try it out at some point, hopefully soon.

So instead, I’m going to be writing a post about the importance of female friendships in novels, and in life. This is inspired by Vampire Academy coming out in two days, which I am EXTREMELY excited about.

Most of the reading I do is in the YA genre. I don’t always WRITE in that genre (it’s a bit difficult for me to keep the cursing to a minimum [depending on how badly a character wants to do it] and wondering about the line where *cough* other things are concerned), but I prefer to read in it. My reasons for doing as much aren’t related to this post, so I’m not going to get into that because I’m trying to stay on subject with the new schedule. (Is mentioning something getting into it?)

One of my largest problems (it’s not the only one) with the genre is the lack of female friendships that the heroines have in their lives. More often than not, it seems to be piling a bunch of males in with the one female to develop (sometimes) meaningful relationships and friendships with. If there are females, they seem to be put on the back-burner and are more for keeping up appearances rather than adding any sort of legitimate substance. They’re underutilized, in my opinion. (Kind of like something else, which I will probably get to in another post.)

I’ll completely admit that writing female friendships is a tricky thing. When you’re female, you KNOW how tricky female friendships can get, especially around the age when YA main characters are. I’ll also admit that the male/female friendship ratio I tend to work with is usually pretty indicative that I personally find friendships with males easier. BUT, there’s a quality over quantity aspect. And I will say that in any series I’ve finished, the main female character has AT LEAST ONE extremely meaningful friendship with another female. Doesn’t necessarily happen in the first book of a series, doesn’t necessarily not happen in the first book of a series, but it happens at some point (thus far). It happens because . . . that happens in life. I also believe it’s important.

I think for younger females, it’s good for them to see that friendships with other girls can be healthy. It doesn’t have to be backstabbing and all the other nonsense that comes along with being 16-18 years old (and younger, and older). I think it’s good for them to see that. It’s true that you don’t always get back what you put into a friendship, but sometimes you do.

While I’ve always made friends easier with males (for the most part), some of the most meaningful connections I have in my life are with females. Females communicate together in a way that you just . . . don’t get with males. And no, it’s not all make up and clothes (but yes, that’s fun).

I have no problem saying that Aster eventually develops several meaningful relationships with females in the Reave series (apart from Agatha). Some of them come later into the game than others, but they help her grow as a ‘person’. These females (I’m not giving them away) help her in ways no one else ever could.

I say writing female friendships isn’t any trickier than writing love entanglements. No, they’re not as ‘appealing’, but by god . . . they’re real.

And that’s one thing I loved about the Vampire Academy series (apart from Rose being badass, which she was). Rose and Lissa, whatever connection aside, have one of the deepest friendships I’ve ever read. No matter what boys get thrown into the mix, or what crap, they are always there for each other. I think that’s beautiful, and I think it’s important.

When you have girlfriends and you throw boys into the mix, things can get a bit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . difficult. When you’re young, a lot of times you think the boy is the one that matters, and don’t get me wrong, they matter in their ways. It’s usually not ways you realize at the time.

You might cry on a male friend’s shoulder when you’re falling to pieces over a boy. I know I did my fair share of that when I was younger (A BIG SORRY here to any of you who had to deal with that), but it’s different when you’re sprawled out on your best female friend’s bed, a complete wreck. There’s no, “I knew this was going to happen.”

That comes later, if ever. Usually not.

Girlfriends know you don’t want to hear that garbage, especially when you’re in pieces (you probably did know and don’t need reminding). All you want to do is cry about some jerkface who probably didn’t deserve your time or the tears you’re crying over him anyhow.

I’m not devaluing one sort of friendship and talking up the other. Some of my best friends in the world are male, and I would not give up those friendships for anything, but neither would I with my female friendships. What I’m saying is that it’s all important.

There’s really not much that compares to the bonds females can form with one another, especially in the fueled flames of adolescence. I can easily say that, being well past that time, I’m glad to see it over. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it for what it was, or the people involved. But it’s easy to look back and realize that you take things for granted when you’re young.

So hug your girlfriends and always remember . . . they can’t be replaced. And those connections? They deserve to be written about. They deserve so much more than what they’re given.

Thank you Richelle Mead for doing a fantastic job of that when it seems to be so rare in the genre.

(Also, on a completely unrelated note: I’m trying to get an actual SCHEDULE made up for reading people’s blogs on here. It’s taking me longer than I want it to with all the work I’m doing, but I AM working on it. Please be patient with me until that time, and then I’ll actually have a daily schedule for it to hold myself to.)


37 thoughts on “Female Friendships

  1. I’m confused on why female relationships are made so catty. I remember seeing a lot of that in high school, but I wonder if it’s the natural order or born from how media portrays things. Though there are a few solid ones. Xena/Gabrielle and Buffy/Willow come to mind even though the first pair are older. Sadly, I can’t think of any others beyond that.

    • It really is kind of baffling, even being female. I guess it could get into a whole ‘basic instincts’ thing (like actual instincts, not any movie). I like to think they don’t have to be that way, even when you’re younger. Who really knows though? Honestly, I can’t think of many that aren’t that way either and it’s really so sad. :/
      Then again, I guess all relationships are complex in their ways…
      I don’t know why commenting with you always makes me want to get all philosophical, but it’s difficult to stop myself on occasion. I’ll spare you. XD

  2. Like you, male friendships are easier for me. It is very rare that I actually feel comfortable in a friendship with a girl as it is generally filled with being catty and drama and I honestly lack the patience to keep up and diffuse.

    But I feel like you make a solid point on the actual lack of depth in the YA genre. I actually haven’t found any books as of late that I have whole heartedly enjoyed. Mostly due to feeling like there is a varying degree of predictability and almost always at the core the entire story revolves around the romantic relationship. Particularly in the YA genre. Maybe I just a cynic. Haha.

    • It was DEFINITELY that way when I was younger, which I’ll admit is likely why I’m personally so wary of female friendships (new ones). I guess there’s always the concern when making any new friend that they won’t be on the same wavelength, which is bound to cause all sorts of problems no matter the gender. I’m saying that much nicer than what I could . . .

      I haven’t had time to read lately to FIND any books that I might enjoy. I do wonder if a lot of the ones I loved several years ago wouldn’t have the same effect on me now, due to being at a different place in my life – if I would go a bit past the superficiality of it all and just be . . . not-amused.
      Even with the lack of depth, I was always able to enjoy them and I guess overlook some major flaws. (Flaws are subjective, I’ll add.)
      I guess the romantic relationship thing is natural enough, given that most people focus so much on those sorts of relationships in life. Naturally so, when you’re trying to find someone to spend the rest of your life with. I just think it’s a shame to leave out all other aspects of relationships available. They’re all at your disposal in writing and there are so many that are underutilized. It’s sad.

  3. This was actually some great insight on the need for good female friendships. They are hard to come in real life, thus making it hard to find in the literary world. Are you struggling with this in your writing?

    • Thank you. 🙂

      And yeah, they’re pretty difficult to find anywhere.
      Surprisingly no, this isn’t an issue I have with writing. I like exploring all sorts of different relationships, and I think that’s just the way life goes, so that comes pretty naturally. This was more saying, “WHY ISN’T THERE MORE OF THIS?”
      thisthisthisthisthis. Sorry, pointing out my over-usage.

  4. I don’t have much perspective here, as most of my friends are much, much older than me– over fifty. I don’t have many friends my own age. Interesting post. I miss chatting with you! I got your email, but I haven’t had time to reply, I’ve been so busy. Thinking of you, lady! Hope you’re doing well and writing lots. (( hugs ))


      I definitely understand the busyness, so don’t worry about that. Just write whenever you can. I would love to hear from you though!
      Hope you’ve been well too and getting lots of stuff done!
      *double hugs*

      • Hey YOU! I miss you too. I hope you’ve been doing well. I’ve been extremely overwhelmed and very busy, getting busier as my move nears. *triple hugs!!*

      • I’ve been pretty good, I suppose. Finally got some writing in, so I’m happy about that.
        Your move is coming up next month, right? Did I actually remember that right? Watch you say August…
        I hope that all goes smoothly for you! Moving it NOT fun. Try not to get too overwhelmed!
        Can I put *quadruple hugs*?

      • I’m so glad you’re writing! Yes, move is coming up next month, but I wish it were August. In some ways, I can’t wait for it to be over, because things at the house I’m living in are so uncomfortable. Thank you . . . No, moving is no fun! How do you write this . . . “five-tuple” hugs? lol

      • I wish you the best of luck and easiness with the move. You’ll have to text (TOTALLY forgot we could do that until about three seconds ago) and let me know you got there safely. Well, you don’t have to, but I’d like it if you would! Hope things are going well for you!

        I got it either way! 🙂

      • GAH. I am SO SORRY I haven’t replied to your last text message. It gets difficult to do when I’m on nights. I don’t know when people wake up and don’t want to wake them up with texts.
        Right around the ‘safe time’ (noon-ish) is when I’m going to sleep, so I’m either too tired or just can’t remember. Then I think about it at like 2 AM.

      • It won’t wake you up?!

        My sleep schedule is all messed up, so I can text you now. This just reminded me, so thanks!
        I’ve been so out of it lately.

      • No, it won’t wake me up. 🙂 I leave my phone on vibrate all the time. So if I don’t reply at that moment, it just means I’m in dream-land.

      • I am seriously the worst texter ever. Seeing this made me look and realize that I didn’t reply back to yours (like I thought I did). I have a serious problem. 😦

  5. I’m really tired right now (for some reason my body thought that 1:30 in the morning was a good time to wake up) but I’ve been meaning to comment on this for a while, and thought that I could at least muster a half decent comment because it really got me thinking as a writer. I was shocked that you’re absolutely right, and that in all my stories, I don’t really have any really strong female relationships, and there truly isn’t any reason for it.
    Perhaps it’s because I like writing from the male perspective more, or perhaps it’s less complex, I honestly couldn’t say.
    What I will say though (before I start rambling nonsense or falling asleep halfway through and not hitting post) is that your blog has seriously made me reconsider my stories and where a good well-rounded female friendship should go and makes sense to be. In fact, for my story that has no plot, there should be one for my oracle chick. For my other, it doesn’t make sense and I’m okay with that (there’s really only three characters anyway).
    So, in short, thank you for posting this because it really made me think and is forcing me to amend my writing in a good way.

    • I really can’t tell you how happy your comment made me. I wasn’t expecting anyone to say anything like that, so it kind of left me siting here like this ~~> O.O . . .

      I honestly don’t know what to say, apart from ‘that’s awesome’ or ‘wow’ or ‘SUPER glad to help’ or, “DOUBLE WOW, please forgive my ATROCIOUS technical errors in this ‘paragraph.'”
      I could fix that, but I’m sure you get the point of it and that’s good enough.

      I wish you the best of luck in new approaches taken and whatnot. Also hope that you have been able to get some decent sleep since commenting. 🙂

      • I’m past her now. Sometimes you have to leave people when you see they are adamant on retaining their childishness!
        Btw, sorry for the late reply- my engineering and guitar schedule conspires to keep me away from blogging! 😀

      • I agree with that. Sometimes people stop fitting together. It’s sad, but it just happens. How are you feeling about it?

        LoL, no apologies needed! People have lives. 🙂
        Hopefully you’ve been enjoying your engineering/guitaring (I’m saying that’s a word now). That’s what matters.
        Nice to ‘see’ you again though! 🙂

  6. Pingback: After a week of writing . . . | C. Miller

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