I’ve wanted to do a blog entry on writing unlikeable (why did I write ‘unlickable’ first?) female protagonists for a while now, because it’s something I get asked about with a surprising–to me–amount of frequency.

The only problem was I wasn’t sure how I’d frame such an entry. How to Write an Unlikeable Female Protagonist? Uhm, that would be awfully presumptuous of me and besides, I don’t think writing an “unlikeable” girl protagonist is all that different from writing a “likeable” one. Also, there’s the issue that Parker and Regina seem to be more liked than they’re hated, so have I even written an unlikeable protagonist? Or maybe I shouldn’t say readers actually like them, so much as they understand them? Also, if I write unlikeable too much it stops looking like a word and my God that is tragic, why would anyone make me do that to a word.

So THAT is why I haven’t written a blog entry on the topic: the actual writing of an unlikeable main character is less complicated than talking about writing one. But still, I get questions about and relating to the likeability of my female protagonists.

Readers seem to want to know why:

1. I would make Parker and Regina so unlikeable and
2. Do I really believe anyone would suffer their company willingly (like Chris, Jake and Michael) and
3. Do I think readers (or anyone) should like them

These are pretty great questions. If you don’t want to read the rest of this entry, the short answers are 1) because I wanted to 2) yes and 3) that’s up to the reader and there you go.

Before I wrote Cracked Up to Be, I wrote another YA novel. It had two POVs–a boy named Peter and a girl named Margot–and, get this, it was written in third person. The book got me so close to representation, there is a whole story there about how I pulled my hair out, but never mind that.

So it got rejected a lot. And what all the rejections seemed to come down to was that people liked Peter and hated Margot. SURE, there may have been massive other problems with the novel but to cope with the sting of (literally) hundreds of rejections, I needed to pinpoint what they all had in common and then uh, get defensive about it. So Margot was what they had in common. She was cold. They couldn’t connect with her. I took the manuscript out and reevaluted it, wondering if I could make her more ‘likeable’ (whatever that means). But when I read it, I had a problem: I liked her and I didn’t think I could change her.

(Just so you know, Margot spent the first half of the book hating her perfect boyfriend and wanting him to die. Then in the second half he DID and then she was like, “Oh man.” WAT is unloveable about that, I ask you.)

So I did a lot of navel-gazing soul-searching and I just kept getting annoyed because my thoughts decided to circle in this way: WHY DO GIRLS HAVE TO BE NICE ALL THE TIME THEY CAN BE MEAN AND ANGRY AND GENDER STEREOTYPING MUCH ARGH. Just. Like. That. I was bothered that the behaviours that are supported, loved, celebrated or romanticized in male characters would be, I thought, rejected in female characters because we have the perception that girls are sugar and spice and everything nice (er, not that I think wanting your significant other to DIE is an inherently male characteristic).

We are HARD on girls.

And please don’t mistake me: I’m not saying we’re not hard on guys at all, or that male characters aren’t held to their own set of ridiculous standards but I am writing an entry about writing unlikeable female characters, so. Anyway, just imagine a character like Sutter Keely (whom I LOVE) and Holden Caulfield (who I dream of repeatedly punching in the face) as girls. How do you think they would be received?

Or how about: imagine a girl who is outwardly hostile to her love interest, has violent tendencies, invades his personal space, and is just generally inappropriate. Like, you know–stalkery. I see a lot of that lately with male characters, and the implication is I’m supposed to think that’s hot. A lot of people DO think that’s hot in fiction, apparently, but I don’t know that we’d be encouraged to think the same thing if the aggressor in question was female.

I think that entire paragraph could turn into a conversation in itself and I’m sure someone can come along and passionately refute what I am saying etc. but I’m just telling you what got me to the point of wanting to write about and then actually writing a character like Parker. I was contemplating double standards, it was making me angry and I decided I wanted to write the meanest, most unlikeable female protagonist I could think of, because nuts to it all. Part of this also falls under the larger umbrella of why I like to write–I am interested in provoking strong responses, whether they’re positive or negative. The last thing I want is for someone to walk away from my books feeling indifferent (I think lots of writers feel this way).

The choice to return to an unlikeable protagonist with Some Girls Are was also informed by everything I’ve detailed above, perhaps even more so because girl-bullying is such a taboo topic. No one wants to believe the extremes girls will go to to make each other miserable. Like Rachel Simmons, I believe that the expectation that girls must be ‘nice’ abets their aggressive behaviour. I think girls can be physically violent (you wouldn’t–or maybe you would–believe how many times I was told by interested parties that if I was writing a book about girl bullies, they could not be physically violent with each other because girls are only aggressive psychologically).

Part of writing Some Girls Are was gathering up all these ideas of how girls are ‘supposed’ to bully each other and wanting to write against them. I’ve talked about why I needed to write Some Girls Are on a personal level, but so much of Some Girls Are grew out from–SPOILERS–the scene with the girls on the side of the road because I was told girls would never, ever behave that way because… girls. Just. Don’t. (Psh.)

Making Regina a former mean girl who grapples with and indulges in and, at points, enjoys her mean girl tendencies (whether it’s right or wrong) was a no-brainer for me. I wanted to make a difficult story more difficult; not only in the interest of challenging readers (hopefully) but to challenge myself. I think having Regina be a nice girl/accidental target would have been an easy, safe choice to make. I identify with Regina a lot but her instinct is different than mine. Exploring that was not always easy, but that is what made it rewarding. That’s what’s in it for me when I make these kinds of choices. That’s a lot, in my opinion.

Do I really believe that anyone would willingly suffer the company of my main characters? Would they really have a Chris, Jake and Michael inserting themselves into their lives? The answers to both of these questions, for me, is yes. I can think of about eighteen million jerks (yes MILLION) I know IN REAL LIFE who are surrounded by incredible support systems, who have love in their lives. I don’t hesitate in my answer. People are complex and it is never as simple as “bad people should have no friends, good people should.” (I don’t think Parker and Regina are bad people, though.) I think it’s realistic, I think it’s possible. Of course!

I sometimes think the reason people approach me with the question is because they (and I do this too) struggle with the idea of who deserves and doesn’t deserve that kind of support… when really, how much someone is given–regardless of how nice they are or aren’t–in terms of love and support isn’t up to us, unless we’re the ones doing the giving.

That is why reader response fascinates me; being told by people exactly what they think Parker and Regina do and don’t deserve is probably one of the most gratifying things I’ve experienced in having these books published. I don’t think anyone is wrong in what they feel about either of those girls, whether they hate them or they don’t. But I love when they feel strongly about it and I love when they feel strongly enough about it to tell me.

Finally, do I think readers should like Parker and Regina? As I said, that’s up to the reader and that’s all there is to it. As I said, I have hopes that people will respond to my work whether they like it or hate it (indifference is what terrifies me!), but the last thing I will do is tell someone how they should respond. There are no “right” or “wrong” ways to feel about Parker and Regina.

So. That is what I have to say about writing unlikeable female protagonists.

OH WAIT! I just read an interview with hilarious comedian Louis CK and he talked about likeability and I wish I’d just smacked this quote up instead of this entry BUT OH WELL, this is what he said:

“Well, I think “likability” is an overused word. I don’t watch people ’cause I like them; I watch them because they’re compelling. Sympathetic is a little different. It’s like I understand this person, and I never know quite what they’re going to do and I’m really interested in what they might do next and they feel real to me. That’s, I think, way more valuable than likable. Likable just thins you out…”



I love that man. UGH he is in Toronto in July and I won’t get to see him! Sob, sob. Wait what were we talking about again?

PS Eddie in Fall For Anything will be my first non-mean girl character. MAYBE SHE WILL BE THE MOST UNLIKEABLE OF THEM ALL! Who knows!

I can’t wait to find out.

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39 Responses to on unlikeable female protagonists

  1. OMG I sooooooooooo agree with you. My MC in my current MS got 4 instant rejections from agents on my full because she was too snarky and unrelatable because of it, so I had to soften her up to make her more likable. I personally want to read a book from the mean girls POV and I think it would be awesome to get inside a snarky character’s head. AWESOME Post!

  2. Susan Adrian says:

    I LOVE THIS POST!!

    You probably are not shocked or anything, but.

    My first book kept getting rejected because: no one liked the mc.

    Next book main problem cited by several: unlikeable mc, too aggressive, too self-centered.

    And even a bit with recent ones.

    I seem to have some of the same issues as you, m’dear. But I don’t write people because they’re LIKEABLE. I write them because I’m interested in them–and the most interesting people are not the most likeable. They’re the most *complex*. My favorite bits are when a character responds strongly in some emotional way (anger, frustration, etc) and you as the reader can see the real reason underneath, even though the character can’t!

    Ooops, LONG COMMENT ALERT.

  3. oslowe says:

    I can’t wait to find out too! I also never found either Regina or Parker to be unlikeable (that word NEVER looks correctly spelled, does it?)- they are compelling, they are interesting, BECAUSE THEY ARE HUMAN. They are flawed, they are irrational, they are complicated- i.e. like every interesting person I’ve ever met. Also, also, ALSO, your books have given a really accurate (I think, I dunno, are you lying to me?) look into how these characters THINK, and why they do things that might be considered mean. It takes me back to my bullying days and makes me all warm and fuzzy. Thank GOD I outgrew them and went into my (apparently romantic & HAWT) stalky/glowery/outwardly hostile phase.

  4. ello says:

    I completely utterly agree with you. WE absolutely are way too hard on girls. And females are even harder on our own kind then males are to other males. There must be an anthropological answer for why this is.

    Oh and I love you for saying you wanted to punch Holden Caulfield repeatedly in the face. I thought I was the only one that felt like that!

  5. Jessica says:

    I actually REALLY liked both Parker and Regina BECAUSE they were so flawed. I didn’t think they were unlikable. Parker was hilarious, and Regina had a soft side that was endearing when you found it. They weren’t cuddly teddy bears, but most interesting people aren’t.

    Great post!

  6. Brilliant post, Courtney! It’s so a matter of what you want to do, what you want to put your name on. After that, it’s 100% up to the reader to feel and react however they will. The gender roles thing is definitely an important area in which to lend diversity. What you’re doing is breaking new territory – and that’s one of the most valuable things an author can do in YA. =)

  7. ali says:

    This was such a great post Courtney, thanks! I think it’s awesome to read books with unlikeable MC ~ kinda shines a light on the real people we choose to surround ourselves with.

  8. Bryan Bliss says:

    First, Sutter Keely is awesome (as is The Spectacular Now.) Great book.

    I am currently in the process of being flamed on a writing board because I said something like, “I wish women took more care in writing boy MCs”

    Okay, so there was some hyperbole in the statement. Sue me. Still, I think my point is similar to what you’re saying here: characters need to be real. They can’t just be simple cutouts. In some way, they have to be authentic and show some integrity. You know, use whichever writing cliche you’d like.

    I get tired of perfect guys and girls who are totally unlike any female I’ve ever met before. Ever. Of course, it may just be that I don’t sparkle (on the outside) and that’s why most of the girls in my life have been more like Parker than not.

    Um… except my wife.

    But you know what I mean. RIGHT?

    ;)

  9. You are so right about the way girls are thought of and portrayed. Have you read Inexcusable by Chris Lynch? If that were a girl MC nobody would buy it. I disliked that MC more than any other character I’ve read.

    But I loved Parker from page one. Probably because she felt so real to me and I understood wanting to push everyone away.

    Regina took a while longer for me to warm up to, but in the end, I liked her too. Regina really shows (IMO) the capacity of people to be good and evil.

    Great post! Lots here to think about.

    Stephanie

  10. courtney says:

    Annie: Thanks so much! It can be hard to find someone who ‘gets’ a snarky female protagonist. But they’re out there! And I’m glad.

    Suze: THANK YOU! And it’s frustrating, isn’t it? It’s interesting the way certain characters have to answer for themselves and how gender comes into play. And YES: “My favorite bits are when a character responds strongly in some emotional way (anger, frustration, etc) and you as the reader can see the real reason underneath, even though the character can’t!” And pfft, LONG COMMENTS NEED NO ALERT. They are always, always welcome. ;)

    oslowe: I *might* be lying to you. MAYBE. I don’t know. Or… am I? I don’t think that ‘or am I’ really fit in there, but oh well. I thank you for your kind words, kind sir & omg, your last sentence made me LOL so hard I cried TRUEFAX.

    ello: high-five for the mutual desire to punch Holden Caulfield repeatedly in the face! WE ARE NOT ALONE. We should start a club. :) And I agree… girls are so hard on other girls. I am guilty of this myself and I want to not be guilty of that.

    Jessica: Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked my “unlikeable” protagonists. ;)

    Emilia: And yes–you put it so well. A writer has to stand by and believe in what they put out there, but once it’s out there–it’s OUT THERE! … I love how I just repeated what you said a lot more sloppily. You were way more articulate than me. But right on!

    Ali: Thank you so much Ali! I’m glad you thought so.

    Bryan: I LOVE Sutter Keely. I totally read The Spectacular Now after a Twilight binge and it was like. Incredible. PS *sues you* Just joking. No, I know exactly what you’re saying–characters need to be real absolutely. We should all, as writers, take care in their development. I tire of Mary Sues & Gary Stus as well. And I GOTCHA. :)

    Stephanie: I haven’t read Inexcusable but it has been on my To-Read list for AGES. And I agree with you; I think if the MC was female it would be soundly rejected. I’m glad you liked Parker and warmed up to Regina. :) Thanks for reminding me of Inexcusable too, I def. have to get to reading that one!

  11. Robby says:

    I love you, and your unlikable characters. I will love Eddie too, I am sure of it.

    Margot is such a great name.

  12. I completely agree. I think we are MUCH harder on females. In the MS I just finished, I’ve had some feedback that my MC is too hard, but I don’t think she is. She’s jaded sure, but she’s had a HARD past and she’s protecting herself. I think its hard to find that line where people are okay with a girl being angry. Why can’t we be angry too? LOL.

  13. courtney says:

    Robby: I can only hope you like Eddie! :)

    Kelley: EXACTLY! “Why can’t we be angry too?” !

  14. It’s frustrating. If a girl is angry, she’s automatically a five letter word starting with a b, but when guys are it’s sexy.

  15. courtney says:

    Yes–there is DEFINITELY a disturbing double standard. :/

  16. I was actually told to read your books to get an example of strong, female characters who are likable though :) Just so happened I showed up and this was your blog post. LOL.

  17. Raven says:

    Hmm. I think Parker and Regina are likable because they aren’t the sugar and spice, and everything nice type of girls.

    As, Kelley put it, when girls are mean or angry or anything that isn’t nice or sweet or bubbly they are called B’s. But when the guys are mean and angry, they are called dark, brooding, sexy and then the MC falls in love with them because of that, which is totally not right.

    Girls who don’t act like the world is all about butterflies and rainbows make better characters because their emotions are stronger. You *feel* them, and because of that they are more realistic, in a way.

    And of course, there is always a reason for the way they act and for the way they treat others.

    Great post, Courtney!
    Great post!

  18. Kirstin says:

    Fantastic post! You hit it when you said Parker and Regina aren’t bad people. Readers can tell that. Plus, it’s a very fine line between unlikeable and unreliable as well, and unreliable narrators are much more likeable than *THEY* think they are. That’s also key–even if the MC thinks s/he’s a schmuck and acts like one, usually readers can see that s/he isn’t quite as bad as all that, and that’s what matters.

    Morgan started out as much more unlikeable–I had to soften her down, but I think it was worth it. It’s all about making a protag a multidimensional, human person, underneath all their blather. : )

  19. Rock on, Courtney. I could go on for days here, so I’ll try to be brief for now: I prefer when characters and stories are fully realized and feel real (even in fantasy/sci-fi stories) rather than being cliche and/or having an easy/happy/predictable ending. One of the roles I’m playing on stage right now is quite conflicted and so layered – I love playing this role. Love it. Love it. At first, she seems torn and broken, but then…is she? Is she truthful or not? Is she manipulative and aware of what she did and what she’s doing, or is she just acting according to the rules of her experience? Why did she do what she did? I’ll stop now, but my point is that I love layered characters, and I love truth, and I love well-told stories.

  20. Catey says:

    I have to admit I almost stopped reading Cracked because I really disliked Parker in chapter 1. And then a few pages after that I fell in love with her. I couldn’t really say why that was, but I think she’s fantastic. I liked Regina more immediately, but less intensely than I ultimately liked Parker. But I really do love them both and I think they’re fantastic partly BECAUSE of their flaws and the struggle about whether or not it’s okay to like them.

    It’s interesting that your first book was in third person! Any particular reason you switched to first? I find it’s sometimes hard for me to get into a YA book if it’s not in first person. I don’t know why that is.

  21. Tye says:

    Congratulations Courtney, on once again making such an eloquent and intelligent point.
    This is just one of the many (and there are MANY) reasons we love you.

    I LOVE this post!!! And I must thank you because we are having this EXACT discussion with our Year 8 students right now. The conversation being that an unlikable protagonist can bring a whole new element and reality to a story.

    I can honestly say, the students with whom I did Some Girls Are, most often commented that they loved the book because the characters are REAL.

    You do an amazing job of writing ‘real’ protagonists lovely and I cannot wait to ‘meet’ Eddie!

  22. But what if I think Parker and Regina are likeable?

  23. Hannah says:

    While reading both your titles, I never felt any dislike towards either protagonists. Because to me, they were never exactly mean… they were complex, thats all. And thats what I’m looking for! I can be reading about the nicest girl on Earth only to feel absolutely nothing, because they’re so not real. I loved Regina because she was, well, kinda “bitchy”. I mean, everyone is bitchy, so why hide it? And I hate how some people aren’t willing to understand a character simply because of their gender.
    This is a brilliant post, Courtney! Thanks! I’m emailing this link to everyone. :)
    Love, Hannah

  24. Hannah says:

    P.s. Though I’ll readily admit I’m more judgmental when it comes to girls as well. Sheesh, what’s up with me?

  25. courtney says:

    Kelley: Serendipity!

    Raven: There is definitely a difference in the way male and female characters with similar traits are received. And it’s incredibly frustrating. I think unlikeable protags have as much place in fiction as unlikeable ones and it frustrates me when certain people imply that they don’t. I’m glad you liked Parker and Regina. :) Thanks for commenting!

    Kirstin: I LOVED Morgan, as you know. As I read her, I thought, “Man, this is exactly what I want in a protag.” It’s interesting to me that you had to soften her down, because I still find her a lot edgier and sharp than what’s out there. Multidimensional & human for sure.

    Willow: I wouldn’t have stopped you if you’d wanted to go on for days! ;) We prefer the same kind of characters. I get enough joy out of writing them (or trying to!), I can’t imagine how gratifying it is to literally step into the shoes of exactly that kind of character. I hope it’s going well. It sounds like it is. :)

    Catey: I’m definitely glad you warmed up to Parker. :) And first has always been my natural voice, so third person was a stretch for me. But that particular novel just insisted on being told in third and so it was. I prefer writing in first!

    Tye: Aw, Tye, thank you. ~*~ You are too kind! But yes, I think it’s important to make any character fully realized (but then I think all writers feel that way). It’s sad when some people have an over-riding idea of how people “should” act. Human beings are much more complex than that. (I really hope you like Eddie when you meet her!)

    Daisy: Then disregard this wholeeee post. ;) Jk jk.

    Hannah: I think you’ve definitely touched on the fact that realism is the most important thing. The nicest girl in the world runs the risk of being unbelievable, but so does the meanest. Thank you so much for reading & commenting & passing the post along! :) And you know, I’m hard on/judgmental towards girls too… something we can work on. Acknowledging it is a step in a positive direction. :)

  26. Bee says:

    Sing. It. Out. Loud.

    I’m so tired of the flirty, girly stereotypical MC, because gender roles compel girls to behave a certain way. They aren’t that mean. Aren’t that violent. They are easy to mellow. They always give in. Ugh.

    Sometimes people think my MC is a guy because there’s nothing particular that makes her out to be a girl, because girls are supposed to act a certain way. And if she doesn’t, she’s a freak and God help her.
    I write flawed characters because I want to get in her head. You don’t like her, fine. I didn’t like her too, probably, but now I’m trying to get to know her, inspite of that.
    And guess what? I LOVE HER.

    Also, you rock.

  27. Dawn says:

    G-d, I love this. I read it last night and then got up this morning to read it again. I love writing (and reading) against gender stereotyping and also seem to write a lot of “unlikeable” characters (go fig’). I don’t mind pushing someone’s envelope, in fact I prefer it, but there seems a fine line between unsympathetic and unlikeable which a reader will tolerate and I have yet to really nail that balance. But there is something inherent in people loving the bad guy which can translate over to the main character…if it’s a guy. I adore your books for taking a stand for the Mean Girl and giving us a peek and a prod against our better instincts. Giving a nod to our instincts to be selfish, aggressive, cruel, petty and downright bad is a direction that *should* be explored, Miss Elephant In The Room, in order to better understand and recognize those folks in the world around us as well as in the mirror.

    Awesome post & thanks for links!

  28. First off, this is a brilliant post.
    Second, I’ve always wanted to write an unlikeable protagonist. But to be honest, I was never confident enough to do it because Protagonists Should Be Filled With Rainbow Brite Stars And Chocolate Frosting. But after I read Cracked Up To Be and Some Girls Are, I was totally inspired to just do it. And you know what? The MS I’ve written — with a girl who would’ve gotten along like hot cakes and syrup with Regina — is the one that feels the most real to me.
    So I thank you. For eloquently illustrating that it’s okay to give yourself permission to write a nasty character (who I have to admit I like better than some real-life “nice” people), and to have fun doing it. AND to make no apologies. :)

  29. courtney says:

    Bee: YOU rock! I love this line of your comment: “You don’t like her, fine. I didn’t like her too, probably, but now I’m trying to get to know her inspite of that. And guess what? I LOVE HER.” Awesome.

    Dawn: Ee! I was hoping I’d hear from you. I cannot waaaaait for your debut, missy. I also prefer pushing someone’s envelope and I COMPLETELY agree that there is a fine line between unsympathetic and unlikeable. Sometimes, though, I wonder why they even have to be sympathetic? That is something I grapple with constantly because as much as I love a good redemption story, I also love ones with no way out. I just like subversive risks, I guess. But they can be hard sells

    Cambria: Thank you! And wow–I am totally humbled that CUTB and SGA gave you a boost to go ahead and try an unlikeable character (and I love the idea that your protag and Regina could get along!). Here’s to no holds barred. :) And all best with your novel + protag. :)

  30. pseudosu says:

    I like hearing about your process in developing these characters/stories. I too like the idea of challenging people’s standards and assumptions about girls. I also think it’s a good thing to put characters out there that people can relate to, who may act kind of horrible at times, yet we still find something redeemable about them. It’s like telling your readers– “Everyone is a total shithead at one time or another, it doesn’t make you unlovable.”

  31. Courtney: I put Some Girls Are face-out on the shelf when I visited another bookstore yesterday. You may have been amused had you watched as I strategically faced-out certain books. I do this in any and all bookstores that I visit. :) As for the plays, they are going well. Thanks for asking. I’m rehearsing two right now, and the two girls I’m playing are QUITE different. One gets bossed around and victimized, while the other is super bossy and bouncy.

  32. I just wanted you to know I would totally stand on the side of the road and NOT kick you…

    Brilliant, as always. ~*~

  33. When people say it isn’t realistic for “mean” characters to have good friends they should look themselves in the mirror. I know my life is full of mistakes I have made. I have lost friends for good reasons but I have keep good friend despite some stupid things I have done also. Any realtionship is mess of question marks.
    One of the reasons I liked CUTB so much was it contained one of those great characters like people in real life we say we hate and dislike but there is also a little part of us that wants to be a part of that persons world. It’s the date or hate thing :)
    And I enjoyed SGA because it showed the brutality I’ve seen girls dish out on each other in ways I have not seen much anywhere else. And just to say one word “closet” and say that scene made me sick because it brought back such strong memories.
    Also I want to say there is a difference between badly written mean characters who have no depth and the ones you write who keep you interested because the strokes are broad and endless.

  34. Courtney! I wanted to punch Holden, too! I still do. Let’s gang up and take him down.

    You KNOW how I feel about your girls. I want to hug them both. (but, they probably wouldn’t like that much).

    HOORAY for YOU and Rachel Simmons for fighting back against nice-girl syndrome :)

  35. courtney says:

    Sue: Exactly! It is so weird to me how many people have really hard, fast rules about what determines a person’s lovableness.

    Willow: Awww! THANK YOU! I may *cough* do that too, for books I love. I’m glad the rehearsals are going well (and hope they still are). If anyone can expertly balance two characters at two extremes, I’ve no doubt it is you.

    Emily: I APPRECIATE THAT. ;)

    Brian: I love this: “Any relationship is a mess of question marks.” So well said. & Thank you. :)

    Tiffany: AAAH YES. Schedule a date to punch Holden in the face! <3

  36. Caitlin says:

    I mean first of all amazing post you could write out the dictionary and I would be compelled to read it. Done gushing sort of, but you are so right about this. I feel for some odd reason people are uncomfortable with unlikeable real raw female characters, because its like a reality check on some level people want to believe the side of the road scene in Some Girls Are would never actually happen. I for one love both Parker and Regina because they are both unapologetically real. Also how cane one not love Louis C.K. his show is so addicting.

  37. courtney says:

    Caitlin: I def. agree with you that people get uncomfortable when confronted with things they consider outside the norm. I’m thrilled you liked both Parker and Regina and found them real. Thank you! And yaaay! Another Louis C.K. fan!! He is AWESOME.

  38. Michelle says:

    I love your female characters. I think it’s fantastic that you give them both positive and negative qualities because in real life, that’s what it’s actually like. People are multifaceted and not just good or evil, mean or nice etc. The amazing thing is that you really do make the reader sympathize with these girls even though they’ve done some questionable things that many won’t understand or agree with. I love how you write about a different kind of girl, not a cliche or a stereotype but a person with depth and originality.

    In short: your characters are awesome (especially the girls) and this post is really great.

  39. courtney says:

    Thank you so much, Michelle! On all counts. That means a lot. :)