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.)

🙂

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Will someone do me a favor…

. . . and listen to this song for me? Before or after I explain why makes no difference to me, so long as SOMEBODY listens to the song. It’s like two-something minutes long. LISTEN TO IT.

Okay, now I’m going to explain.

I’d imagine that most of you have no idea who that guy in the video is. Being an avid IMDB-er, and a big fan of perusing copious amounts of people and things on there (I know they don’t always have information first, that’s entirely beside the point), I will fill you in on who he is.

There is a movie coming out next year for the first book in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. If you just so happened to read the excessive rambling that was The Liebster Blog Award, then you’ll know how I feel about those books. If you didn’t, I will say again that I loved them – basically – because Rose is one of my favorite female characters in any YA series I’ve ever read. She kicks ass and doesn’t even bother taking names.

Anywho, that guy up there singing in the video is playing in the movie – Christian Ozera, if you’ve read the books. And being the peruser I am, I happened to find that video.

Let me just say that I’m one of those people who – once a song gets stuck – cannot get songs OUT of my head. Some people miraculously have them leave after listening to them once – like it’s just some mild appetite that needs a snack here or there to be sated. I don’t know how TF people manage it, but that’s neither here nor there. Last week (I think it was), I had Dancing In The Dark stuck in my head for over three days straight.

I’ve been working, which some of you know. Let me just explain what happens to me when a song gets stuck in my head while I’m editing (which is what I’m doing right now, but the same principle applies for writing as well). I’m fine. I’m totally fine while I’m thinking about WORDS. But the INSTANT that I stand up, or fidget, or get distracted for one reason or another . . . it plays. Incessantly. I can do nothing for it. Listening to it only sticks it farther. Not listening only makes me WANT to listen to it. I am simply stuck with it for however long it chooses to stick with me.

That is my life. I always have some sort of music playing during those tiny little breaks (or not so tiny, depending on) where my brain shuts down for a moment, due to excessive thinking about WORDS. (UGGGGH, WORDS . . . I’m a little worn-down, if you can’t tell.)

This song has been STUCK IN MY FREAKING HEAD nonstop for DAYS. And for once? I am not complaining at all.

Okay, so now I have to tell the funnies. If you’re male (or female, for that matter) and don’t find the potential shamelessness of females where it pertains to males humorous in any way whatsoever, you may as well stop reading now if you’ve bothered to make it thus far.

He’s a good looking guy, I’ll admit it. It’s much easier to admit it to the entire world (or the two people who exist in my world on here) than it is to my husband.

Anywho . . . If you just so happen to look at the official Vampire Academy Facebook page (I’m linking that so you can look after I say it if you so choose), there is a picture of him on there shirtless in a pool. No big deal.

Alright, I will also admit that something along the lines of, “Hey, that’s pretty nice,” crossed my mind briefly enough while I was looking at all the pictures on there. (Yes, I did look at other pictures, thank you.) But something caught my attention.

The comments beneath it.

I was sitting here at the computer, laughing hysterically and relaying bits and pieces of those comments to my husband. Women were talking about their ovaries exploding. I am not kidding. I am not exaggerating. I am not taking liberties with it. That is LITERALLY what they were saying. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a good long while. I was partially laughing because the thought of, “THE LACK OF SHAME WE CAN HAVE!” passed many times through my head. And partially because there was a smaller voice somewhere in there saying, “Man . . . I am SO glad I didn’t hear the term exploding ovaries when I was 18 or so. That would’ve been so worn out.”

Anyways, can you just imagine being that guy and seeing that you made women’s ovaries explode? (Not literally, of course. Come on now.)

I bet he’s going to be a happy guy indeed here shortly. He probably already is, but all of this is beside the point and was simply an errant thought or two.

The ENTIRE point of this is that I just need someone out there to tell me that him singing that song is as good as my head is telling me it is. I’ve heard Jason Mraz’s version, and I can RARELY say that a cover is better than an original, but it certainly is here in my opinion. And I like Jason Mraz pretty well to be honest.

It’s an extremely rare thing for me to say that I don’t care about a person’s acting ability when they’re going to be playing in a movie I’m looking forward to seeing, but I really don’t in this case. It has absolutely nothing to do with how he looks, and everything in the world to do with the fact that he needs to be making music (I’ll selfishly add, “for me to listen to.”) . . .

And am I the only one in the world who thinks there is something undeniably sexy about his voice on that song? Again – nothing to do with how he looks. I’ve listened to it without watching the video. I really have. And I’m being completely honest when I say that I don’t usually think voices are sexy.

I’m at least going to get my best friend to listen to this because I know, if there are two things in the world that woman appreciates . . . it’s good music and good looking men. I know she’ll think at least one of the two about it, but I’m not entirely sure which yet.

I feel like a horrible person, but the song was worth sharing, and explaining.

Kthxbai.

PS . . . He gets bonus points for being British. Juuuuust saying.

PSS . . . Major props from me to any woman who is woman enough to say something about a man being good looking enough to make her ovaries explode.