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Bechdel test

posted Sep 11, 2012, 6:31 AM by crystal carroll
In various places, I've tagged "Blood Maiden" with Bechdel test pass, or more properly, Bechdel/Wallace test. This concept was developed by Wallace and subsequently included in Bechdel's "Dykes to Watch out For" comic strip.

The idea is pretty simple. To pass the Bechdel test, a story needs to have two female characters, they need to talk to each other, and what they talk about needs to be about anything other than a man (brother, father, lover, friend).

Surprisingly a lot of big name Science fiction/Fantasy doesn't pass, because while there may be one warrior queen/priestess/person, she's often the only one.  If there are other women in the story, she doesn't talk to them. Now there are plenty that do pass, or that pass in interesting ways.

When I set out to write this story I wanted to write about strong female characters who are more than warrior princesses or, well, mom. So while the story is titled, "Blood Maiden", her friends and those friendships are an important part of the story. There are a lot of bromance adventure stories out there.

Here's to a fremance adventure. With, admittedly, actual romance between two of those female characters. I had planned on writing Danea as this rather shy person who had grown up home tutored because of the curse that said her son would kill her father. Only now allowed out of the house because of court order or something. The first time around, Blood Maiden was bused into high school (I'm a child of the 70s/80s in California), I know from busing. There she was sitting on the bus. There I was typing away at 5 am or so, and on stomped Danea in full Goth garb with a lojak on her ankle. I think the only thing that survives of that scene is her first words to Blood Maiden, which are something like, "Yeah, I've been lojacked. It's a symbol of the oppressive patriarchy." Blood Maiden fell in love like snapping fingers and I realized my main character was a lesbian.

It's always surprising when people you are making up, surprise you.

But the most fun was writing the group of them having adventures together.