Crafting Compelling, Three-Dimensional Female Characters in Science Fiction & Fantasy

Crafting Compelling, Three-Dimensional Female Characters in Science Fiction & Fantasy

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The days of cardboard cut-out women in genre are long gone. Readers right now are looking for fully realized, interesting, and powerful female characters. But how do you set about creating women in fantasy and science fiction that resonate with your audience?

In this presentation, we look at some of the current crop of female characters in speculative fiction, identify what makes them work, and how they fit into the wider world of the novel. We consider the cultural aspects of their nature, and delve into building powerful many faceted women. What does it mean to be a powerful woman? What ways can a woman have power? What conditions can the women of this world flourish under? What kind of challenges make their lives interesting to your audience? Learn to give your readers the kind of female characters that will keep them turning those pages, wanting to share in their journey.


New Zealand born fantasy writer and podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is the author of the Books of the Order and the Shifted World series. She is also the co-author with her husband Tee Morris of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels as well as Social Media for Writers from Writer's Digest Books. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, the Steampunk Chronicle Reader's Choice, the RT Reviewer's Choice Award for steampunk, and a Sir Julius Vogel. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and a furry clowder of cats. She can be found online at

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