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Sunday 5 November 2017

NaNoWriMo Thoughts - Princesses In Towers

After the prologue, my NaNo begins with a rescue mission.

Who is being rescued? Well, funnily enough, the main character. She has been kidnapped by a rival captain, in an ill-advised move to get revenge for a perceived slight.

At first, I was a little wary about this.

I was raised on the kind of bullshit movie wherein the only women that show up are there to scream and be helpless and saved by our white male hero. It's a trope that bores the piss out of me because I mean, for one, sexist much? And for two, characters whose sole purpose is to wail about how much trouble they are in are

So, how does one put the princess in the tower without turning it into a story about the knight rescuing her?

Pretty easy, actually.

Shay Skyfall is not helpless, and she's not the kind of person to do nothing when she could be doing something - even if, for the moment, that something appears to be just pissing off her captor. Of course, that is Shay playing to one of her strengths - her smart mouth. She's witty, manipulative, charming, and knows when to get under someone's skin to get the best effect.

I was tempted to have her try and escape before her crew show up, but I wanted to do a few things with this first chapter, which would be better done with her not soloing the show.

1) I wanted to demonstrate her faith in the crew, and their faith in her.
2) I wanted to show just how bad-ass her crew can be when they need to be.
3) I wanted her lack of fear or respect for her captor to be absolutely obvious.

I think she gives good account of herself. Shay is a force to be reckoned with, when spurred. Halflings by their nature are clever and spirited, and to be an effective freelance merchant and courier, the gift of gab and natural business acumen are essential tools. This being Starfinder, there's all sorts of threats to deal with that aren't her peers - so a little skill with a sword isn't too much to ask, either.

I didn't enjoy putting the princess in the tower, but then - maybe if the princesses had been more than cardboard cutouts, maybe if the film-makers or writers had wanted their princesses to be characters rather than trophies, I'd feel a little less uncomfortable about the entire metaphor.

So who wants to burn down a few towers?

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