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C09P50 – Lullaby

C09P50 – Lullaby published on 14 Comments on C09P50 – Lullaby

Originally I was going to end this chapter with Koruval’s realization that his children were alive, but eventually determined that we really needed a Coda not just on the old family dynamic of Tama, Zhiro, and Koruval, but the new family dynamic of Kali and Mizha.

I was listening to a radio special that commemorated the 10-year anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While the radio show itself was one of the more depressing and infuriating pieces of content I’ve listened to in a while (I wish I could recommend it, because I love Buffy and both Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman are interviewed in the special, but when the interview questions themselves start from a negative place, we melancholy writers cannot help but take the answers to a point where life is not worth living and we’re all screwed) there was one comment that stood out to me. It was an observation that female characters are almost always isolated from other women. They have male friends, but very rarely female ones.

That made me think about how commonly women are portrayed in conflict with other women. Often if you do have two, it’s The Good One vs The Other Girl. Frequently one of them will the tough, kick-butt, takes what she wants Strong Female Character, and the other will be the innocent, passive, Pure Girl. If the tough chick is “the good one” she’ll be portrayed as hyper-independent and focused on Important Matters as a contrast to a weak, vapid, shallow girly-girl. If the Pure Girl is “the good one” she’ll be portrayed as being elevated by her pure goodness above the wicked and toxic manipulations of her merciless counter-part. Two options, and no “winning” choice.

From the first imaginings of these two characters, I wanted Mizha and Kali to be an exploration of contrasts in harmony. Kali is blunt, severe, focused, pragmatic, and would rather tackle a problem (literally) than talk about it. Mizha is tactful, compromising, a dreamer, and would prefer to pretend there is no problem, there never was a problem, and there never will be a problem. They are, essentially, the Strong Female Character and the Pure Girl, except rounded out to be real people with strengths and weaknesses. Even if those strengths and weaknesses are not readily apparent. Kali has a gentleness and a brittle vulnerability under her coarse presentation. Mizha has a resilience and cold will beneath her gentle demeanor. And rather than have these two personalities at each others throats, I wanted to explore how much they can benefit from each other. That not only can these two opposites get along, they can be friends and family. Everyone has ways they can grow. Sometimes it takes an opposite to learn what an alternative even looks like.

14 Comments

Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

I do love their dynamic. Everyone in this team plays off each other well.

Also, you’ve just identified the number one thing that irritated me about Legend of Korra. Korra and Asami basically have a Katara-Toph dynamic. Instead of exploiting that, Asami had to stop displaying the qualities Korra didn’t like, as opposed to both of them learning with each other. =/

That drove me crazy too. Especially after the original series emphasized how girls could have a lot of different personalities, and all of them were valid and powerful. Katara, Toph, Tai Lee, Mai, Azula, Suki, Princess Yue. Then Korra happened and suddenly there was a lot of “Nope, this is the only way a girl can be Strong,” occurring. What happened??

Aw, how cute! Love the music and the snoring juxtaposition.

The woman vs other woman never really occurred to me until I was writing a piece to submit someplace. When I gave it to a friend to review, she noticed that the only two female characters were in conflict with each other and that was one of the oldest tropes in the book. I never noticed any of that in media before, but now I’m certainly seeing it (it could also be what I naturally consume). It’s just interesting how sometimes we’re not even aware of these things in media because they’re just so common.

just got to the hole archive of this beautiful story, and I can’t wait till yor next update.
An amazing world you build! All those details are great to read… I wanna see more!
*goes to read more of those language and place guides*

Strong women: Brooke Gladstone interviewing Cyndi Lauper. Woo hoo. I could watch it over and over and over. One chooses the straight-on news reporter strategy for life: stand and deliver, whoever you are! The other must dodge-and-dance just to survive the onslaught of disapproval and then exploitation. Both turn their lives into art forms and both laugh and laugh. They understand each other perfectly and I love them both.

Your drawing of the faces of both Kali and Mizha on this page are particularly beautiful.

On the Korra comments–Jinora is obviously a strong character, and is completely different than Korra. I also think that the mother, Pema, is a strong but quiet character. I guess I can see your issues with the Asami character ark, but I was convinced that –crosses out spoiler— other plotlines drove her evolution.

Huh. I’d never noticed that trope. But then, when I create characters, gender and name are rarely the first thing I pick. I’ll come up with the main character, and then decide what other sort of personalities I need around them to drive the story. Then I assign gender in such a way to keep things balanced, and according to what would make things more interesting.

Hi! I’m back and catching up through the archives so I can return to reading this regularly, now that all the moving-drama’s done with XD And discovering the comments and ‘blog’ are far far more evil this way. I keep getting distracted reading all this and losing my place in the story….

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